High-level physical activity in childhood seems to protect against low back pain in early adolescence

N. Wedderkopp, P. Kjaer, L. Hestbaek, L. Korsholm, C. Leboeuf-Yde

The aim of this study was to establish if physical activity in childhood had any impact on back pain reporting in early adolescence, using an objective instrumental measurement of physical activity.  The participants were a random sample of Danish children sampled at age 9 years and followed-up at age 12 years.  The results showed that when comparing the least active children to the most active children, the least active had a multivariate odds ratio of 3.3 of getting low back pain and 2.7 of getting mid back pain 3 years later. When stratified on back pain at baseline, this effect on mid back pain was especially noticeable in children who had had mid back pain already at baseline, with an odds ratio of 7.2.

High physical activity (HPA) levels seem to protect against future low back pain and appear to actually “treat” and reduce the odds of future mid back pain.

The Spine Journal, 9(2), 134-141

Link to Abstract