Spinal pain increases the risk of becoming overweight in danish schoolchildren

Spinal pain is common in adolescence, and overweight in children and adolescence is an increasing public health problem globally. 

Since musculoskeletal pain is a known barrier for physical activity which potentially can lead to overweight, the primary objective of this study was to determine if self-reported lifetime spinal pain in 2010 was associated with being overweight or obese in 2012 in a cohort of 1080 normal-weighted Danish children, aged 11-13 years at baseline. Overweight was based on body mass index measured by trained staff. Spinal pain was self-reported by questionnaires during school hours. Estimates were adjusted for relevant covariates. The 2-year incidence rate of overweight was 5.3% for children with spinal pain at baseline versus 1.6% for children without. 

There was stepwise and statistically significant increased risk of overweight with increasing frequency of pain and for having pain in more than one part of the spine. Despite the short follow-up time where only 40 children developed overweight, these results indicate that spinal pain might increase the risk of subsequent overweight.

Lise Hestbæk, Ellen Aartun, Pierre Côté, Jan Hartvigsen. Spinal pain increases the risk of becoming overweight in danish schoolchildren. Scientific Reports 2021

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8119474/

 

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