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Publication: Neck and shoulder pain in adolescents seldom occur alone


Neck and shoulder pain in adolescents seldom occur alone: results from the Norwegian Ungdata Survey.


Authors: Henriette Jahre, Margreth Grotle, Kaja Smedbråten, Kåre Rønn Richardsen, Anders Bakken, Britt Elin Øiestad



The objective of this study was to describe the prevalence of neck/shoulder pain in isolation and in co-occurrence with other musculoskeletal pain, headache, and depressive symptoms in Norwegian adolescents.


Cross-sectional data from the Norwegian Ungdata Survey was used. Lower and upper secondary school students from almost all municipalities in Norway participated. The students answered a comprehensive questionnaire, including physical and psychological complaints.


In total, 253,968 adolescents participated in the study, 50% were girls, and 56% were lower secondary school students. The total prevalence of neck/shoulder pain was 24%, and only 5% reported neck/shoulder pain in isolation. Fifty percent of adolescents reporting neck/shoulder pain had other musculoskeletal pain, and 50% of the boys and 70% of the girls with neck/shoulder pain had co-occurring headache. Depressive symptoms were reported in 28% of the boys and in 45% of the girls with neck/shoulder pain. In general, the prevalence of neck/shoulder pain and its co-occurrences were more prevalent among girls than boys and higher in upper than lower secondary school students.

In conclusion, neck/shoulder pain seems to co-occur with other musculoskeletal pain, headache, and depressive symptoms in most adolescent cases. These comorbidities should be taken into consideration when assessing adolescents with neck/shoulder pain.


Link: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ejp.1785