Self-reported bodily pain in schoolchildren

Scand J Rheumatol. 1998;27(4):273-6.


It has been suggested that musculoskeletal symptoms develop from early age and can be regarded as a lifespan phenomenon. The study of childhood pain might provide a better understanding of the origin of chronic pain in adults. In a study of 569 schoolchildren, aged 10-15 years, in a local community close to Oslo, 75% reported that they usually experience bodily pain. Girls reported more pain than boys. 25% of those reporting pain experience symptoms several days a week. Knee symptoms and back pain were most frequently reported. Thirty-seven % of the girls reported headache, only 20% of the boys. Girls also reported more neck and shoulder pain than boys. The oldest respondents reported symptoms from more body parts. Symptoms from several body parts were more frequent among girls. Thirty-eight % of the respondents reported that it sometimes is hard to concentrate because of the pain, and 26% reported that they sometimes have to use medication. The consequences of pain increased with increasing age and increasing number of body parts affected. The results are consistent with findings in the adult population.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Musculoskeletal System*
  • Pain / diagnosis*
  • Sex
  • Surveys and Questionnaires