Prevalence, Risk Factors and Outcomes of Neck, Shoulders and Low-Back Pain in Secondary-School Children

Houda Ben Ayed, Sourour Yaich, Maroua Trigui, Mariem Ben Hmida, Maissa Ben Jemaa, Achraf Ammar, Jihene Jedidi, Raouf Karray, Habib Feki, Yosra Mejdoub, Mondher Kassis, Jamel Damak

Abstract


Background: Musculoskeletal pain (MSP) is a public health problem among school-adolescents. This study aimed to identify the prevalence, risk factors and consequences of neck, shoulders and low-back pain among school-adolescents.

Study design: A cross-sectional study.

Methods: School-adolescents aged from 12 to 18 years between October 2017 and February 2018 in South of Tunisia were recruited. Eligible participants were randomly selected and were asked to respond a four-section questionnaire. Factors independently associated with MSP were determined through multivariate logistic regression analysis.

Results: Among 1221 enrolled subjects, shoulders, low-back and neck pain were reported in 43%, 35.8% and 32%, respectively. Multivariate analysis showed that independent risk factors of neck pain were female gender (Adjusted odds ratio AOR=1.55; P=0.002), using computer ≥4 hours/week (AOR=1.50; P=0.010), too low desk (AOR=2.30; P<0.001) and carrying schoolbag ≥60 minutes (AOR=1.58; P=0.008). Female gender (AOR=3.30; P<0.001), BMI ≥25 Kg/m2 (AOR=1.6; P=0.018), playing videogames ≥2 hours/day (AOR=2.37; P<0.001) and schoolbag weight to body weight ≥10% (AOR=1.46; P=0.026) were independently associated with shoulders pain. For low back-pain, independent risk factors were high-school grade (AOR=2.70; P<0.001), playing videogames ≥2 hours/day (AOR=1.83; P<0.001), watching TV≥12 hours/week (AOR=1.5; P=0.016), too low seat backrest (AOR=1.4; P=0.005) and too far seat-to-black (board) distance (AOR=1.5; P=0.041). School-adolescents consumed drugs for MSP in 19.5%, had sleep disturbance in 34% and aggressive behaviors in 22.8%.

Conclusions: The prevalence of MSP was substantially high among school-adolescents and their associated risk factors included sociodemographic factors, leisure activities and classroom furniture. An ergonomic specific and behavior-based school program is urgently needed.

 


Keywords


Adolescents, Musculoskeletal pain; Risk factors; Schools

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