The epidemiology of low back pain in an adolescent population

Am J Public Health. 1992 Apr;82(4):606-8. doi: 10.2105/ajph.82.4.606.


We assessed the prevalence of low back pain (LBP) in a cohort of 1242 adolescents (aged 11 through 17) currently participating in a 4-year prospective study of medically treated injuries. Overall, 30.4% of the adolescents reported LBP. The impact of LBP in adolescents was considerable, with one third resulting in restricted activity and 7.3% seeking medical attention. Life-table analysis demonstrated that by age 15, the prevalence of LBP increased to 36%. There were few differences by gender or race. These results suggest that LBP in adolescents is a serious public health problem.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Absenteeism
  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Back Pain / epidemiology*
  • Black or African American
  • Child
  • Female
  • Health Services / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Life Tables
  • Male
  • Pennsylvania / epidemiology
  • Population Surveillance
  • Prevalence
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • White People