Low Back Pain Common Among Kids

Low back pain is common in school-age American children, and rates increase with age, researchers say.

By the time they’re teenagers, nearly two out of five kids will have suffered lower back pain, a review of prior studies found.

But only 7 percent of teens with low back pain seek care, said researchers from Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

Most cases of low back pain in youngsters are not serious, but they can affect school attendance and participation in gym class or sports. Also, teens with low back pain are at increased risk for low back pain when they’re adults.

For this report, researchers analyzed previously published studies. They found that back pain affects 1 percent of 7-year-olds, 6 percent of 10-year-olds and 18 percent of teens ages 14-16.

There is no single risk factor or factors for low back pain in school-aged children. Likely factors include sports and other types of physical activity, body growth, previous back injury and a family history of low back pain. Females are also at greater risk, the study said.

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