Send to

Choose Destination
Rev Rhum Engl Ed. 1999 Jul-Sep;66(7-9):370-80.

Back pain and spinal alignment abnormalities in schoolchildren.

Author information

Rheumatology Department, Grenoble Teaching Hospital, France.



To study the prevalence of back pain and spinal alignment abnormalities in children aged 10 to 14 years; to define subsets of subjects with similar clinical profiles; and to identify factors associated with pain in the thoracic or lumbar spine.


972 five- and nine-graders completed a back pain questionnaire at school and were examined by a school physician for spinal alignment abnormalities and for motion range limitation in the spine and/or lower limbs. Multivariate analysis was used to define clinical subsets and to identify factors associated with back pain.


The point prevalence of back pain increased with age, from 14.3% in the ten-year-olds to 24% in the 14-year-olds. Girls were more likely than boys to report back pain, which was usually located in the low back. The prevalence of scoliosis increased with age and was higher in the girls. Multivariate analysis identified five clinical profiles: no spinal pain; nonserious spinal pain with no impact on medical service utilization or physical activities; spinal pain unrelated to an injury; injury-related spinal pain not treated by drugs or physical therapy; and injury-related spinal pain treated by drugs and physical therapy. Several factors associated with spinal pain were identified, with variations across the five groups.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center