Department of Rheumatology,
University Hospital of Grenoble,
BP 217, F-38043 Grenoble Cedex, France
An international congress about “the back of children and teenagers and the prevention of backache” was held in March 1999 in Grenoble (France). Beside specific low back pain following progressive and growth diseases, special attention was paid to non-specific low back pain (LBP). Some epidemiological data show a high incidence of LBP during and after the rapid growth phase, with the concomitant possibility of continued or recurrent evolution. MRI studies reveal frequent signs of disc degeneration: they start after the growth phase, spread during adolescence and are often correlated with backache. An immunohistological study seems to confirm the presence of degenerative-type alterations and changes in collagen in the vertebral plates and nucleus of juvenile spine. These data must be confirmed, and their relation to natural history and prognosis of juvenile LBP have to be clarified by longitudinal studies.