The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12891-017-1424-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Spinal pain in children and adolescents is a common condition, usually transitory, but the picture of spinal pain still needs elucidation, mainly due to variation in measurement methods. The aim of this study was to describe the occurrence of spinal pain in 8–15 year-old Danish school children, over a 3-year period. Specifically determining the characteristics of spinal pain in terms of frequency and duration.
The study was a 3-year prospective longitudinal cohort study including 1400 school children. The outcomes were based on weekly text messages (SMS) to the parents inquiring about the child’s musculoskeletal pain, and on clinical data from examinations of the children.
The 3-year prevalence was 55%. The prevalence was 29%, 33% and 31% for each of the three study years respectively, and increased statistically significantly with age, especially for lumbopelvic pain. Most children had few and short-lasting episodes with spinal pain, but more than one out of five children had three or more episodes during a study year and 17% of all episodes lasted for more than 4 weeks.
This study demonstrates that spinal pain is a substantial problem. Most episodes are brief, but there are a vast number of children with frequent and long-lasting episodes of spinal pain indicating a need for action regarding evidence-based prevention and management.
Additional file 1: SMS questions. (DOCX 41 kb)12891_2017_1424_MOESM1_ESM.docx
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