OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence of low back pain (LBP) in an Australian metropolitan, male adolescent population.
DESIGN: Self-reported, pretested questionnaire that included a definition of LBP and a description of the body area it affects.
SETTING: Three government operated secondary schools in a growth corridor of north suburban Melbourne, Australia.
SUBJECTS: Six hundred ten males attending secondary (high) school, aged between 12 and 19 yr.
MAIN OBSERVATIONS: The point prevalence of LBP was found to be 16.7% and the sample prevalence 57%. The typical sufferer of adolescent LBP (ALBP) reported chronic LBP experienced up to a few days at a time, several times a month.
CONCLUSIONS: The high prevalence of ALBP found by studies in other populations is confirmed in Australia. There is a clear need for further study of the etiology and potential preventative factors of ALBP, and for consideration of whether nontraumatic occupational LBP results more from an aggravation of a preexisting (adolescent) condition than from an unsafe or unsuitable work environment.
This abstract is reproduced with the permission of the publisher. Article only available in print.