METHODS: 1756 schoolchildren (mean age 10.8) were recruited from schools in southern Finland. Information was extracted as to whether they experienced musculoskeletal pain and a total of 1192 children were identified as free of musculoskeletal pain symptoms. Information was collected on factors which could potentially predict the development of musculoskeletal pain: headache, abdominal pain, sadness/feeling down, day-time tiredness, difficulty in falling asleep, waking up during nights, level of physical activity and hypermobility. These children were followed-up 1-year later and those with new episodes of non-traumatic and traumatic musculoskeletal pain symptoms were identified.
RESULTS: A total of 1113 schoolchildren (93% of baseline pain-free children) were found at one-year follow-up. New episodes of musculoskeletal pain were reported by 21.5% of these children. Of them 19.4% reported non-traumatic pain and 4.0% reported traumatic pain. The neck was the most commonly reported site with non-traumatic pain, while the lower limb was the most common site for traumatic pain. The independent risk factors for non-traumatic musculoskeletal pain were headache (OR = 1.68, [95% CI 1.16-2.44]) and day-time tiredness (OR = 1.53, [95% CI 1.03-2.26]). The risk factors for traumatic musculoskeletal pain were vigorous exercise (OR = 3.40 [95% CI 1.39-8.31]) and day-time tiredness (OR = 2.97 [95% CI 1.41-6.26]).
CONCLUSION: This study highlights that there may be two types of pain entities with both distinct and common aspects of aetiology. For primary prevention purposes, school healthcare professionals should pay attention to preteens and early adolescents practicing vigorous exercise (predictor of traumatic pain), reporting headache (predictor of non-traumatic pain) and reporting day-time tiredness (predictor of both types of pain).
This abstract is reproduced with the permission of the publisher; click on the above link for full text. PMID: 17521435