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Prevalence of Musculoskeletal Complaints In Norwegian School-Aged Children -A Cross Sectional Study

Cathrine Herneblad-Due, 2014

Background: Musculoskeletal complaints are common in children and research indicates that childhood complaints are on the increase and can be a predictor of pain later in life. However, the complaints and prevalence rates are reported with great variations in the literature.

Objectives: To determine the prevalence rates of musculoskeletal complaints of headache, migraine, neck pain and back pain in Norwegian 9-11 year old school children through a cross-sectional survey.

Subjects: 638 questionnaires were handed out and 317 were collected (49.7 % response rate). Randomized primary schools in the areas of Akershus, Østfold and Sør- Trøndelag (Norway) were invited to participate.

Methods: A cross sectional questionnaire based study

Results: It was as common to experience pain as not in this study population. Headache and “other complaint” (foot/ heel complaints) were the most common when assessing ‘period prevalence’ of six months as well as ‘point prevalence today’ or this week. Headache, migraine, neck pain and back pain were most common at an interval of every three months, while lower limb complaints were most common at a weekly basis. No gender differences were found in this study and there were found minor association to trauma.

Conclusion: Half the group of the Norwegian school aged children studied suffered from MSK complaints within the last six months and over 40 % suffered ‘today or this week’. The majority suffered from lower limb complaints and headache; these complaints serve as associated factors for MSK complaints in the study population.

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