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Pain and musculoskeletal pain syndromes related to computer and video game use in adolescents


The objective of the present study was to evaluate the presence of pain and musculoskeletal pain syndromes in adolescents and associate them to computer and video game use. A cross-sectional study was performed on the entire adolescent population (n=833) of a private situated in the city of São Paulo. The research included a questionnaire and physical examination of the musculoskeletal system. Statistical analysis was carried out with Fisher, chi-square, Mann Whitney tests and logistic regression. A total of 791 adolescent was evaluated. A computer was used by 99% and video games by 58%. Pain was reported by 312 (39.4%) students: 23% complained of back pain, 9% of upper limb pain, 4% of diffuse pain and 4% of pain in the trapezium muscle. A clinical examination was carried out in 359 students, and one or more musculoskeletal pain syndromes were present in 56 students (15.6%): benign joint hypermobility syndrome in 10%, myofascial syndrome in 5%, tendonitis in 2% and fibromyalgia in 1%. In the multivariate analysis, the logistical regression showed that the independent variables in the prediction of pain were sex [odds ratio (OR): 2.19, 95% confidence interval (95% CI): 1.33–3.61] and age (OR: 1.17, 95% CI: 1.07–1.28) and that the prediction of musculoskeletal pain syndromes were sex (OR: 3.17, 95% CI: 1.69–6.22) and number of days a week using the computer (OR: 1.22, 95% CI: 1.05–1.42). However, the variations in the dependent variables by the mathematical regression models were low. Despite the frequent use of computer and video games among adolescents, this was not associated with the presence of pain and musculoskeletal pain syndromes.

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Correspondence to Clovis Artur Almeida Silva.

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Zapata, A.L., Pantoja Moraes, A.J., Leone, C. et al. Pain and musculoskeletal pain syndromes related to computer and video game use in adolescents. Eur J Pediatr 165, 408–414 (2006).

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  • Adolescent
  • Pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Hypermobility
  • Computer
  • Video game