Muscle pain, physical activity, self-efficacy and relaxation ability in adolescents
AbstractThe main aim was to examine the prevalence of neck, shoulder and upper back pain, and evaluate possible associations between such symptoms and physical activity, self-efficacy and relaxation ability in a sample of adolescents. The data come from a cross-sectional field study on 416 Norwegian second-year electrician, hairdresser, art/design and media students from 13 technical schools, 265 females and 151 males. The mean age was 17.5 years. Data was acquired from a questionnaire and clinical examination. More female than male students (28% vs. 15%) reported high pain complaint levels. Females were engaged in less physical activity and obtained lower self-efficacy scores, but demonstrated better relaxation ability than male students. In bivariate analyses, high self-efficacy scores were significantly associated with high levels of physical activity and poor relaxation ability among males. No significant associations were found in multivariate analyses between physical activity, self-efficacy or relaxation ability and pain symptoms in either males or females. Among males, a tendency of increasing pain odds ratios with increasing physical activity level was seen. Follow-up research on this cohort is needed to explore further differences between males and females, and identify factors associated with neck, shoulder or upper back pain among these adolescents.