Preliminary evidence points to a link between C-reactive protein (CRP) and spinal pain in adults. However, there is a paucity of research in younger populations. Therefore, we aimed to determine associations between CRP and spinal pain in childhood and adolescence. We identified trajectories of spinal pain from childhood to adolescence and investigated the associations between CRP and trajectory subgroups. Six- to 11-year-old children from 13 primary schools, were followed from October 2008 and until 2014. High-sensitivity CRP collected at baseline (2008) was measured using serum samples. The outcome was the number of weeks with non-traumatic spinal pain between November 2008 and June 2014. We constructed a trajectory model to identify different spinal pain trajectory subgroups. The associations between CRP and spinal pain trajectory subgroups were modelled using mixed-effects multinominal logistic regression. Data from 1556 participants (52% female), with a mean age of 8.4 years at baseline, identified five spinal pain trajectory subgroups: "no pain" (55.3%), "rare" (23.7%), "rare, increasing" (13.6%), "moderate, increasing" (6.1%), and "early onset, decreasing" (1.3%). There were no differences in baseline high-sensitivity CRP levels between spinal pain trajectory subgroups. Thus, the heterogeneous courses of spinal pain experienced were not defined by differences in CRP at baseline.
© 2022. The Author(s).