Predictors of neck pain among South African youth

  • C Mafanya
  • A Rhoda
Keywords: Neck pain, prevalence, adolescents, physical activity, computer use, neck flexor, muscle endurance

Abstract

Globally, adolescent neck pain has not been identified as a widespread problem. The prevalence of musculoskeletal pain is rising among adolescents, possibly as a result of repetitive movements and static postures associated with increased use of computers. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of, and factors predicting neck pain in learners attending high schools in the Gauteng Province, South Africa. The Computer Usage Questionnaire which investigated the prevalence of neck pain, as well as the use of computers, involvement in sports activities and psychological factors were used to collect data in conjunction with the neck flexor muscle endurance test. Associations between variables were conducted using the Chi-square test and crude odds ratio in the univariate core, while logistic regression was employed in the analysis to identify predisposing factors. The study sample included 181 learners made up of 97 males (53.6%) and 84 females (46.4%). The mean age of the participants was 16± 1.10 years. The neck pain prevalence was 53.6%. School computer use (p= 0.4) and sport participation (p=0.09) were not significant predisposing factors. However, computer use outside of school (p=0.03) and neck flexor muscle endurance (p= 0.00) were significant predisposing factors to neck pain. The results of the study highlight the need to incorporate education about postural care specifically among adolescents who are engaging more frequently with information technology leading to increased computer usage.

Keywords: Neck pain, prevalence, adolescents, physical activity, computer use, neck flexor, muscle endurance.

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Articles

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print ISSN: 2411-6939