Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain in Adolescence and Young Adulthood

  • Jacqui ClinchEmail author
Part of the In Clinical Practice book series (ICP)


Noninflammatory musculoskeletal pain is common in adolescents and young adults (AYA) and, when persistent or widespread, can have a negative impact on physical and psychological well-being. Chronic musculoskeletal pain, defined as recurrent or persistent pain for more than 3 months, can bring distress, disability and widespread family disruption. Once serious medical causes have been excluded, chronic pain should be regarded through a biopsychosocial lens with a focus on multidisciplinary rehabilitation and self-management.


Chronic pain Multidisciplinary rehabilitation Pain-associated disability 


  1. 1.
    Fayaz A, Croft P, Langford RM, Donaldson LJ, Jones GT. Prevalence of chronic pain in the UK: a systematic review and meta-analysis of population studies. BMJ Open. 2016 Jun 20;6(6):e010364.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Deere KC, Clinch J, Holliday K, McBeth J, Crawley EM, Sayers A, et al. Obesity is a risk factor for musculoskeletal pain in adolescents: findings from a population-based cohort. Pain. 2012;153(9):1932–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    De Mos M, de Bruijn AG, Huygen FJ, Dieleman JP, Stricker BH, Sturkenboom MC. The incidence of complex regional pain syndrome: a population based study. Pain. 2007;129:12–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Hanns L, Cordingley L, Galloway J, Norton S, Carvalho LA, Christie D, et al. Depressive symptoms, pain and disability for adolescent patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis: results from the Childhood Arthritis Prospective Study. Rheumatology. 2018;57:1381–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Clinch J, Deere K, Sayers A, Palmer S, Palmer S, Riddoch C, et al. Epidemiology of generalized joint laxity (hypermobility) in fourteen-year-old children from the UK. Arthritis Rheum. 2011;63:2819–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Tobias J, Deere K, Clinch J. Hypermobility and mechanical pain. Arthritis Rheum. 2013;65(4):1107–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    de la Vega R, Racine M, Sánchez-Rodríguez E, Tomé-Pires C, Castarlenas E, Jensen MP, Miró J. Pain extent, pain intensity, and sleep quality in adolescents and young adults. Pain Med. 2016;17(11):1971–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Harden RN, Bruehl S, Stanton-Hicks M, Wilson PR. Proposed new diagnostic criteria for complex regional pain syndrome. Pain Med. 2007;8(4):326–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Erpelding N, Simons L, Lebel A, Serrano P, Pielech M, Prabhu S, Becerra L, Borsook D. Rapid treatment-induced brain changes in pediatric CRPS. Brain Struct Funct. 2016;221(2):1095–111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Abu-Arafeh H, Abu-Arafeh I. Complex regional pain syndrome in children: a systematic review of clinical features and movement disorders. Pain Manag. 2017;7(2):133–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Clinch J, Eccleston C. Chronic musculoskeletal pain in children: assessment and management. Rheumatology. 2009;48:466–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Jordan A, Eccleston C, McCracken LM, Connell H, Clinch J. The Bath Adolescent Pain—Parental Impact Questionnaire (BAP-PIQ): development and preliminary psychometric evaluation of an instrument to assess the impact of parenting an adolescent with chronic pain. Pain. 2008;137:478–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Peds Ql Varni JW, Burwinkle TM, Seid M, Skarr D. The PedsQL 4.0 as a pediatric population health measure: feasibility, reliability, and validity. Ambul Pediatr. 2003;3(6):329–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Bruce BK, Ale CM, Harrison TE, Bee S, Luedtke C, Geske J, Weiss KE. Getting back to living: further evidence for the efficacy of an interdisciplinary pediatric pain treatment program. Clin J Pain. 2017;33(6):535–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Chow ET, Otis JD, Simons LE. The longitudinal impact of parent distress and behavior on functional outcomes among youth with chronic pain. J Pain. 2016;17(6):729–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Cooper TE, Wiffen PJ, Heathcote LC, Clinch J, Howard R, Krane E, Lord SM, Sethna N, Schechter N, Wood C. Antiepileptic drugs for chronic non-cancer pain in children and adolescents. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2017;(5):8.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Cooper TE, Heathcote LC, Clinch J, Gold JI, Howard R, Lord SM, et al. Antidepressants for chronic non-cancer pain in children and adolescents. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2017;(5):8.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    World Health Organisation. WHO guidelines on persisting pain in children. 2012. Last accessed 19 July 2018.
  19. 19.
    Cucchiaro G, Craig K, Marks K, Cooley K, Cox TKB, Schwartz J. Short- and long-term results of an inpatient programme to manage Complex Regional Pain Syndrome in children and adolescents. Br J Pain. 2017;11(2):87–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bristol Royal Hospital for ChildrenBristolUK
  2. 2.Young Person’s Pain Service, Bath Centre for Pain ServicesRoyal National Hospital for Rheumatic DiseasesBathUK

Personalised recommendations