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Joint hypermobility and its relationship to musculoskeletal pain in schoolchildren: a cross-sectional study
  1. Valentina Leone (valentinaleone{at}doctors.org.uk)
  1. Paediatric Department, Maurizio Bufalini Hospital, Cesena, Italy
    1. Gianluca Tornese (gianluca.tornese{at}gmail.com)
    1. Paediatric Department, Maurizio Bufalini Hospital, Cesena, Italy
      1. Marlenka Zerial
      1. Paediatric Department, Maurizio Bufalini Hospital, Cesena, Italy
        1. Chiara Locatelli
        1. Paediatric Department, Maurizio Bufalini Hospital, Cesena, Italy
          1. Roberta Ciambra
          1. Paediatric Department, Maurizio Bufalini Hospital, Cesena, Italy
            1. Marco Bensa
            1. Paediatric Department, Maurizio Bufalini Hospital, Cesena, Italy
              1. Mauro Pocecco (mpocecco{at}ausl-cesena.emr.it)
              1. Paediatric Department, Maurizio Bufalini Hospital, Cesena, Italy

                Abstract

                Objectives: To determine if joint hypermobility is associated with musculoskeletal pain in a population of Italian schoolchildren.

                Methods: Design Cross-sectional, school based study, using a pre-tested questionnaire administered to schoolchildren to enquire about musculoskeletal pain and Beighton criteria, with score of ≥5 as a cutoff, to test for hypermobility.

                Setting: Eight primary schools in the town of Cesena, Italy.

                Participants: 1,230 Italian schoolchildren aged 7 to 15 representing an opportunistic sample of 10% of the schoolchildren in Cesena.

                Main outcome measures: a) The strength of association between hypermobiliy and musculoskeletal pain.

                b) The impact of hypermobility on daily activities, using a subjective “disability score” and a “physical activity score”

                Analysis Sample size calculation for evaluating if hypermobility was associated with musculoskeletal pain was performed prior starting the study. Children experiencing pain at least once a week were used as cases, children experiencing pain seldom or never served as controls.

                Results: A total of 1,046 consenting Italian schoolchildren (mean age 10.8 years), were included. The prevalence of musculoskeletal pain reported by schoolchildren was 18%. 22% of children with musculoskeletal pain versus 23% of controls had hypermobility (OR 1.057, 95% CI 0.7-1.4). Functional limitations measured by a “disability score” correlated in a weak negative way with Beighton score (p=0.03). The “physical activity score” correlated in a weak positive way with Beighton score (p=0.012).

                Conclusions: We found no association between hypermobility and musculoskeletal pain.

                Hypermobile children did not experience functional limitations in daily activities. They were slightly more active than non hypermobile ones.

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