Childhood & adolescent risk and prognostic factors for musculoskeletal pain

Huguet, A. et al. (2016) Pain. 157(12) pp. 2640–2656

B0007029 Skeleton

Image source: Tim Ellis – Wellcome Images // CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

A variety of factors may be involved in the development and course of musculoskeletal (MSK) pain.

We undertook a systematic review with meta-analysis to synthesize and evaluate the quality of evidence about childhood and adolescent factors associated with onset and persistence of MSK pain, and its related disability.

No study was identified that examined prognostic factors for MSK pain–related disability. High-quality evidence suggests that low socioeconomic status is a risk factor for onset of MSK pain in studies exploring long-term follow-up. Moderate-quality evidence suggests that negative emotional symptoms and regularly smoking in childhood or adolescence may be associated with later MSK pain. However, moderate-quality evidence also suggests that high body mass index, taller height, and having joint hypermobility are not risk factors for onset of MSK pain. We found other risk and prognostic factors explored were associated with low or very low quality of evidence.

Additional well-conducted primary studies are needed to increase confidence in the available evidence, and to explore new childhood risk and prognostic factors for MSK pain.

Read the full abstract here

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