Prevalence and Distribution of Musculoskeletal Pain Among Australian Medical Students
PainSci summary of Smith 2007?This page is one of thousands in the PainScience.com bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focussed on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided at the bottom of the page, as often as possible. ★★★☆☆?3-star ratings are for typical studies with no more (or less) than the usual common problems. Ratings are a highly subjective opinion, and subject to revision at any time. If you think this paper has been incorrectly rated, please let me know.
It’s amazingly difficult to find hard data on the prevalence of musculoskeletal problems. However, this Australian study of medical students found that almost 90% of them had some kind of body pain problem, mostly in the neck, lower back and shoulders — and these are young people. It may not be an exaggeration to say that virtually the entire population of planet Earth has musculoskeletal pain!
OBJECTIVES: Although musculoskeletal pain [MSP] represents an important issue for young people and adolescents, few studies have investigated these conditions among a cross-section of medical students.
METHODS: We conducted a questionnaire survey of MSP among 261 students from a medical school in tropical northern Australia during 2004.
RESULTS: We had a 97.3 percent response rate. The prevalence of MSP at any body site varied from 75.8 percent in the second-year students to 89.3 percent in the third-year students, most frequently occurring at the neck [52.8 percent], lower back [51.6 percent], and shoulders [46.5 percent]. When compared with males, female students were more likely to report MSP [3.4 times for neck pain, 2.5 times for upper back pain, 2.0 times for shoulder pain, and 1.8 times as for lower back pain]. Second-year medical students were only 0.4 times as likely to report MSP at either the neck, upper back, or any body site when compared to students in the other three grades.
CONCLUSIONS: Overall, our study suggests that MSP affects Australian medical students at reasonably high rates, although the prevalence, distributions, and correlations for these conditions do not appear to be uniform.
One article on PainScience.com cites Smith 2007 as a source:
- PS Trigger Points & Myofascial Pain Syndrome — A guide to the unfinished science of muscle pain, with reviews of every theory and self-treatment and therapy option