Active or passive journeys and low back pain in adolescents

Department of Public Health and Primary Health Care, University of Bergen, Norway.
European Spine Journal (Impact Factor: 2.07). 01/2004; 12(6):581-8. DOI: 10.1007/s00586-003-0557-4
Source: PubMed


The objective of this cross-sectional study was to study associations between low back pain (LBP) and modes of transport to school and leisure activities among adolescents. The study population included all adolescents in eighth and ninth grade in two geographic areas in eastern Norway. Eighty-eight adolescents participated (mean age 14.7 years), making the response rate 84%. Data concerning active (walking/bicycling) and passive (bus/car) journeys were obtained from lists and maps from local authorities, and from the pupils, using a questionnaire that also included LBP, activities and wellbeing. Distance walked/bicycled to school was slightly shorter among those reporting LBP in bivariate analyses. Walking/bicycling more than 8 km weekly to regular activities was inversely associated with LBP in multivariate analysis (OR 0.3; 95% confidence interval 0.1-1.0). No associations were found between passive journeys and LBP. The results raise the question for future research of whether lack of active transport may be one cause behind the increase in juvenile LBP.

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    • "In addition, the method of transport to school (either actively walking and cycling or passively going by car or bus) may also contribute to back and neck pain. Previous studies have found that students who actively walked to and from school reported lower rates of low back pain than students who were passively transported to school (Balague et al 1995, Sjolie 2003, Szpalski et al 2002). However this finding has been contradicted by Siambanes et al (2004) and Viry et al (1999) who found that an active journey to school was associated with a higher prevalence of back pain. "
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    ABSTRACT: Are use and perceived load of school bags and the prevalence of spinal pain different between male and female adolescents? Is use of school bags related to perceived load of school bags? Are use and perceived load of school bags related to spinal pain? Cross-sectional observational study. Participants: 1202 adolescents recruited from the 'Raine' Cohort Study. Use and perceived load of school bags as well as spinal pain were measured by questionnaire. The prevalence of back and neck pain was approximately 50%; 53% of females reported neck pain compared with 44% of males (p < 0.01). Almost half of participants carried their school bag for more than 30 minutes per day with 85% carrying their bag over both shoulders. School bags were felt to be heavy by 54% and to cause fatigue by 51%. Carrying a school bag for more than 30 minutes daily and taking an inactive form of transport to school (car or bus) increased the odds of having both back (OR 1.40, 95% CI 1.08 to 1.82) and neck pain (OR 1.47, 95% CI 1.13 to 1.91). Neck pain is as common as back pain amongst adolescents. Perceived school bag load, duration of carriage and method of transport to school are associated with back and neck pain. Physical activity in the form of walking or riding to school may offset the potentially provocative effects of prolonged bag carriage and warrants further investigation.
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this cross-sectional study was to explore associations between self-reported leisure activities and low back pain (LBP). The material included all adolescents in eighth and ninth grade in two geographical areas in the school year 1996-1997. Eighty-eight adolescents participated (mean age 14.7 years), making the response rate 84%. LBP during the preceding year was reported by 57%. Sixty-six percent reported physical activity 3 times weekly or more. The median time spent on television or computer was 15 h. In multivariate analyses, LBP was inversely associated with time spent on physical activity, in particular with regular walking or bicycling. LBP was associated with the use of television or computer more than 15 h weekly, but not with the time spent reading. The results confirm studies showing inverse associations between walking and LBP. Future research should involve prospective studies of the potential effects of walking or bicycling and other specific activities on LBP.
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives. To produce guidelines based on scientific evidence for the management of low back pain. These guidelines were developed within the framework of the COST Action B13 “Low back pain : guidelines for its management”, issued by the European Commission, Research Directorate-general, Department of Policy, Coordination and Strategy.Methods. Thirty eight experts in the field of low back pain coming from 13 different European countries have contributed to these guidelines. The experts were assigned to three working groups. The group 1 has formulated guidelines for the management of acute low back pain, the group 2 has developed guidelines for the management of chronic low back pain and, finally, the group 3 has proposed guidelines for the prevention in low back pain. The evidence underpinning the guidelines was retrieved through systematic searches of the scientific literature up to the end 2003. Systematic review, randomised controlled trials, and existing guidelines were included. The methodological quality of the selected articles was evaluated using the scoring system developed by the “Cochrane Back Review Group”.Results and conclusion. This paper is a summary in French of the recommendations based on scientific evidence that should be taken into consideration by physicians, health care providers and policy makers when dealing with patients suffering from low back pain. Nevertheless, many aspects of care need to be validated before recommendations can be issued.
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