HealthDay News — Low back pain is common in school-age American children, and rates increase with age, according to a study published online January 30 in JAMA Pediatrics.

Researchers analyzed previously published studies and found that back pain affects 1% of 7-year-olds, 6% of 10-year-olds, and 18% of teens ages 14 to 16.

The researchers did not find any single risk factor or factors for low back pain in school-aged children. Likely factors include sports and other types of physical activity, body growth, previous back injury, and a family history of low back pain. Females are also at greater risk, the investigators said. 

“Historically, pediatric training has emphasized that a specific factor or factors cause low back pain in children and adolescents, but recent studies have informed us that is not necessarily the case,” lead author James MacDonald, MD, MPH, a sports medicine physician at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, said in a hospital news release. “While some lower back pain needs to be treated by a specialist, most pediatricians who have a good understanding of the principles outlined in our article can help children and adolescents prevent and manage lower back pain.”

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