I'm a school nurse in an elementary and middle school. I see students of all ages starting to have back pain. It seems like much more than it used to be. Is there any known cause of this problem in such young children?

Adults have a high lifetime risk (80 percent) of having at least one episode of back pain. This figure is reportedly less in children and adolescents.

Increasing episodes of back pain in groups ages 14 to 18 years old have been reported around the world. Very little is known about back pain between ages 14 to 18 and young adulthood.

It appears that the rates of back pain are doubling in this age group. Doctors are concerned because a previous history of back pain is a risk factor for future episodes of back pain.

Studies seem to show that the major factors are psychosocial not physical. Emotional and conduct problems are strongly linked with low back pain in this age group.