Background: It is generally acknowledged that low back pain (LBP) is a common condition already in childhood. However, not many studies have looked at the way LBP tracks over age and how common it is until early adulthood. Purposes: The purposes of this presentation are to show the prevalence estimates at three different ages (9,13,15) and how the LPB reporting tracks over these age groups. Methods: A longitudinal cohort study was carried out from the years of 1997 till 2005, collecting interview data from children who were sampled to be representative of Danish schoolchildren. LBP was defined as having had reported pain in the lower back within the past month. The prevalence estimates and the various patterns of LBP reporting over time are presented as percentages. Results: Of the 771 children sampled, 62%, 57%, and 58% participated in the three back surveys. The three prevalence estimates of LBP were 4%, 22% and 36%. In the youngest group LBP reporting was most common in boys whereas the opposite was the case in the two older groups. Longitudinal LBP data were available for 34%. Most children reported LBP only once over the six years and only one individual reported to have had LBP at all three surveys. Conclusion: This study confirmed the rapid increase in the prevalence of LBP in children/adolescents. It also confirmed that during the years of growth spurt, this is more pronounced in girls than in boys. However, it is not the same individuals who report LBP all the time.
Low Back Pain, children, teenagers, epidemiology
Main Research Area:
The British Society for Back Pain Research - Annual General Meeting: The life course of back pain - are we making a difference?, 2010