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Leisure physical activity & various pain symptoms among adolescents - fibromyalgia research

  [ 65 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • October 5, 1999

OBJECTIVES: To investigate the association between leisure
physical activity and various pain symptoms in adolescents.

METHODS: In this nationwide cohort based cross sectional study
in Finland, 698 schoolchildren, 344 girls and 354 boys, aged
10 to 17 years responded to a questionnaire on pain symptoms
(neck and shoulder pain, upper back pain, low back pain, upper
limb pain, lower limb pain, headache, and abdominal pain) and
physical activity habits and also participated in a fitness

RESULTS: Reported physical activity correlated with
measured fitness. Musculoskeletal pains (p = 0.013) (in
particular low back pain (p = 0.022), upper limb pain
(p<0.001), and lower imb pain (p<0.001)) were found more often
in subjects participating in large amounts of leisure physical
activity, while non-musculoskeletal pains (p = 0.065) (in
particular headache among boys (p = 0.004)) tended to be less
common. Co-occurrence of different musculoskeletal pains was
common in subjects participating in sports.

addition to its likely long term health benefits, vigorous
physical activity causes musculoskeletal pains during
adolescence. This should be considered when tailoring health
promotion programmes to adolescents. Also, co-occurrence of
musculoskeletal pains may occur as the result of sports
activity, which should be considered as a confounder in
epidemiological studies on fibromyalgia and related issues.

Kujala UM, Taimela S, Viljanen T

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