Trajectories of Low Back Pain From Adolescence to Young Adulthood

Coenen P, Smith A, Paananen M, O'Sullivan P, Beales D, Straker L. 06 June 2017 Arthritis Care & Research; 69(3):403-412.

Publication date: 06 June 2017

Keywords: back pain, neck pain, trajectories

What is already known about this subject:

  • Low-back pain is frequently occurring and puts a large burden on individuals and the society at large.
  • The aim of this study was to describe trajectories of disabling low-back pain during the transition from adolescence to adulthood.
  • The understanding of the course of disabling low-back pain in adolescence and young adulthood is limited.

What this study adds

  • Data from Gen2 at the 17, 20 and 22 year follow-ups of the Raine Study were used.
  • Self-reported disabling low-back pain was statistically modelled to identify different trajectories.
  • Four trajectories were identified: participants with consistently low disabling low-back pain; participants with an increase in disabling low-back pain; participants with a decrease in disabling low-back pain; and participants with consistently high disabling low-back pain.
  • 15% of the participants followed an improving health trajectory, suggesting the positive natural history of low-back pain for this group. 30% of the participants displayed a substantial and/or growing burden of low-back pain at 22 years.
  • The identified trajectories provide unique information on disabling low-back pain during the transition from adolescence to young adulthood. Consideration of these trajectories may be important for the design of early prevention and management strategies.
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