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Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2006 Jul 15;31(16):1846-9.

Prevalence and characteristics of upper or mid-back pain in Finnish men.

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Faculty of Rehabilitation, Medicine University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.



Descriptive epidemiologic study.


To examine the 1-year prevalence, severity, and frequency of mid-back pain in a general population sample of men, with comparisons to neck and low back pain.


No previous studies reporting the characteristics of mid-back pain in a general population were found.


A total of 600 Finnish men 35 to 70 years of age were drawn from a population-based twin sample and interviewed with standardized pain questions.


The 1-year prevalence of mid-back pain was 17.0% (95% confidence interval, 14.3-19.7) compared to 64.0% (95% confidence interval, 60.6-67.5) for neck and 66.8% (95% confidence interval, 63.4-70.3) for low back pain. The frequency of pain over the previous year among those with mid- and low back pain was less than for neck pain. The mean severity of the worst pain episode was highest for low back pain followed by mid-back and neck pain, which were similar. Associated disability tended to be less frequent from mid-back pain (23.5% vs. 30.3%-41.1%). Odds ratios for neck and low back pain when mid-back pain was reported were 2.32 and 2.86, respectively.


The prevalence of mid-back pain was approximately one fourth that of neck and low back pain and was somewhat less likely to be disabling. In cases of mid-back pain, spinal comorbidity was nearly always reported.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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