Aim: A cross-sectional study was conducted to explore osteoarticular alterations in obese children.
Methods: Twenty-five boys and 24 girls (mean age: 10.8+/-2.07 years) with a body mass index (BMI) above the 95th percentile were compared with 28 boys and 19 girls (controls, mean age: 10.4+/-2.3 years) with a BMI below the 80th percentile.
Results: A higher frequency of at least one osteoarticular manifestation was observed in obese patients (55%) compared with the control group (23%) (P=0.001). A statistically significant association was also found between obesity and lower back pain, genu valgum, genu recurvatum and tight quadriceps. Fibromyalgia tender points (=11) were present at similar frequency in both groups (obese: 3/38 (9%) vs. control: 1/48 (2%)).
Conclusion: The present data suggest that obesity has a negative impact on osteoarticular health by promoting biomechanical changes in the lumbar spine and lower extremities.