Musculoskeletal Pain in Obese Compared With Healthy-Weight Children
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Objectives: To investigate whether obesity is associated with musculoskeletal pain in children. Materials and Methods: Obese (n=107) and healthy-weight (n=132) 10- to 13-year-old children (132 males, 107 females) participated in an observational case-control study. Children self-reported pain location (excluding abdominal pain), pain intensity (current and prior week), and pain prevalence (overall and lower limb) using the Pediatric Pain Questionnaire. Body composition was assessed (dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry) and children wore an accelerometer for 8 days. Results: After adjustment for accelerometry (weekly average counts per hour) and socioeconomic status, obese children had more intense pain (worst pain, P=0.006), pain in more locations (P=0.005), and a higher prevalence of lower limb pain (60% vs. 52% respectively, P=0.012) than healthy-weight children. Significant relationships were observed between body mass index and total pain locations (P=0.004, unadjusted and adjusted) and worst pain intensity (P=0.009, adjusted for socioeconomic status/accelerometry). There were no significant relationships between percent body fat and pain variables (unadjusted/adjusted analyses, P=0.262 to 1.0). Discussion: Obesity in children was associated with increased overall and lower limb musculoskeletal pain, for which body mass index was a stronger predictor than adiposity. Clinicians treating obese children should screen for pain and prescribe exercise programs that take their symptoms into account.
Clinical Journal of Pain
Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified