It was with great interest we read the recently published article “Trunk Muscle Activity during Drop Jump Performance in Adolescent Athletes with Back Pain.” Investigating back pain (BP) in adolescents is commendable as there is growing evidence that for many, an experience of BP as early as 14 years of age may relate to ongoing pain in adulthood (Coenen et al., 2017). Indeed, the conventional narrative is changing as individual physical factors such as posture, use of schoolbags, and hypermobility are only weakly associated with adolescent BP. Rather, factors which predict BP at a young age are considered to be multi-dimensional and include gender, negative BP beliefs and poor mental health (O'Sullivan et al., 2017; Smith et al., 2017). Mueller et al. (2017) have focused on a single physical factor (trunk muscle activation patterns) drawing inferences regarding BP prevention and treatment. This article prompts consideration of three essential aspects regarding research design and interpretation of findings:

1. Interpreting results from cross-sectional designs

2. Interpreting pain-related differences in motor behavior

3. Translating and conveying scientific results to the end-user (patients, healthcare professionals and policy makers).


adolescent back pain, pain-related fear, trunk stability, negative beliefs in back pain, management of back pain

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