Research Review: Lower Back Pain in Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis

By Ella Bourne – Chiropractor

Background

Idiopathic Scoliosis is the most common spinal deformity in adolescents, with established prevalence 2-3% in adolescents (1). The estimated prevalence of lower back pain in adolescents has been reported in a systematic review by Theroux et al to range from 17.7% to 33.6% (2).

A summary of this systematic review is described below. 

Outcomes

The authors found two articles that fulfilled their eligibility criteria. Both articles assessed lower back pain in adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) via a self-reported questionnaire.

The findings revealed a prevalence rate between 34.7% to 42% of lower back pain. 

Discussion

When taken at face value, the findings indicate that over one third of AIS will experience lower back pain.

There were some limitations to the study including:

  • Unclear definitions of low back pain
  • Lack of longitudinal monitoring
  • Imbalance of gender distribution 
  • Sample sizes, which were modest and drawn from a single location.

 

References:
  1. Wong HK, Tan KJ. The natural history of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. Indian J Orthop. 2010;44(1):9-13.
  2. Theroux J, Stomski N, Hodgetts C.J, Ballard A, Khadra C, Le May S, Labelle H. Prevalence of low back pain in adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis: a systematic review. Chiropractic & Manual Therapies. 2017;25:10.

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