Objective: To measure the magnitude of the problem of low-back pain among 10- to 18-year-old Kuwaiti schoolchildren in Hawalli Governorate.
Subjects and methods: A cross-sectional multistage stratified random sample of 400 schoolchildren (199 males and 201 females) of ages 10-18 years were selected from two junior and two high schools in Hawalli Governorate, Kuwait. Data on age, gender and characteristics of low-back pain such as duration, location and frequency were collected through personal interviews using a questionnaire. Low-back pain was defined as pain in the back from the 12th rib to the buttock area.
Results: According to our definition, reported lifetime prevalence of low-back pain was found to be 57.8% (50.8% in male and 64.7% in female students), while the point prevalence was 35% (20.6% in male and 39.3% in female students). More female students reported low-back pain than male students, and the prevalence of low-back pain was found to increase with age in both sexes. The age of onset of low-back pain was 14 years in males and 13 years in females. The majority of students (92.1% in males, 84.6% in females) reported pain in the low back. Almost 46% of students related their low-back pain to accidents. A significantly higher proportion of male students (58.4%, compared to females 36.2%) reported low-back pain caused by accident or with duration of recovery less than a week (21.8% for males as compared to 16.2% for female students). Female students reported more recurrent or continual low-back pain.
Conclusion: Low-back pain is common among Kuwaiti students in Hawalli Governorate. Prevalence of low-back pain increased with age in both sexes. Female students reported more frequent low-back pain than male students.
Copyright 2004 S. Karger AG, Basel