The effect of a high density foam seating wdge on back pain intensity when used by 14-16year old school students: A randomised controlled trial

Elizabeth Candy, Daniel Farewell, Christina Jerosch-Herold, Richard Watts, Lee Shepstone, RC Stephenson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives
No previous randomised controlled trials had been undertaken investigating the effect of school seating on back pain in 14 to 16 year olds. This study was designed to test the effect of the use of a high-density foam wedge on normal school seating on the intensity of back pain.

Design
Randomised controlled trial.

Setting
Suffolk, a predominantly rural county in eastern England.

Participants
One hundred and eighty-five students with back pain were recruited from 12 schools. Randomisation was stratified by school. The control and intervention groups included 92 and 83 students, respectively.

Intervention
Following a 1-week baseline observation period, each student in the intervention group was given a wedge to use on their school chairs.

Outcome measure
The primary outcome measure was pain intensity (numerical rating scale, 0 to 10) recorded in pain diaries over 4 weeks. Random effects models were used to analyse the pain intensity data.

Results
Ninety-seven students (46 control group, 51 intervention group) completed the trial. For the intervention group, pain intensity was reduced significantly over the 3 weeks of wedge use. The average reduction in pain intensity was estimated to be 0.709 points (95% confidence interval 0.341 to 1.077), representing a 58% reduction in back pain for those in the intervention group.

Conclusion
Use of a wedge reduced the intensity of back pain significantly, especially in the evenings. The results suggest that further research into the longer-term effect of seating on pain intensity in adolescents should be considered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)300-306
Number of pages7
JournalPhysiotherapy
Volume98
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012

Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Back Pain
  • Female
  • Human Engineering
  • Humans
  • Interior Design and Furnishings
  • Male
  • Medical Records
  • Physical Therapy Modalities
  • Posture
  • Schools
  • Treatment Outcome

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