Objectives The purpose of this study was the determination of the frequency and consequence of musculoskeletal pain in urban children and adolescents.
Methods This study was performed in unselected population of two urban schools. Two Rheumatologists visited 479 children (216 boys and 263 girls) in their school. Mean age was 11+2.4 years, range 6–17 yr. The survey included a detailed interview on the basis of a standardised questionnaire and physical examination. The severity of their pain was assessed by visual analogue scale and a subjective disability index.
Results About 30.3 percent (145/479) of cases had musculoskeletal pain. The pain was located at lower extremity in 74% of children. Thirty-one case (21.4%) had spinal pain and 19 (13.1%) had upper extremity pain. The severity of their pain, by visual analogue scale, had a mean 3.2+1.8 (range 0.1–8) and ¾ of cases had disability. Pain relapses weekly in 38% and persists part of a day in 74%. Twenty eight percent (40/145) consulted their physician and 31 children consumed drugs. The physical activity and schoolbag carriage was associated with pain in 61% (89/145) of cases.
There were no statistically significant demographic differences among cases with and without musculoskeletal pain, except for sex, as is shown in the Table 1:
Conclusion In our population lower extremity pain was more prevalent. It had a relapsing character and determines disability and consumption of medical services. The relationship with physical activity (practice of sports) was referred by children and was evaluated in other study.
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