The prevalence of posture deformities among black African children in selected schools in the North West Province
Van Biljon, Isabeau
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It is well establish that posture deformities are a common problem among children that is often ignored by parent and teachers. Posture deformities in children could be related to their socio-economic status, lifestyle, culture, tradition, environmental factors, as well as activity levels and are associated with numerous adverse health effects, which include lung and heart defects, indigestion and back pain. Children who experience back pain are at increased risk of having back pain as adults. The economic impact of back pain affects the industry, were back problems are the most expensive type of injury claim. The increase in spinal problems, such as lower back pain in children and adolescents, points to the need for continued screening. It is suggested that early detection of postural deviation could provide an improve chance for corrective remedies and posture development. On investigating the relevant literature it becomes clear that attempts to define the prevalence of posture deformities among children have focused on reporting selected deformities only. Consequently the literature contains insufficient information on posture deformities involving the entire musculoskeletal system, as well as the prevalence of posture deformities among black African people. The purpose of this study was firstly to determine the incidence of posture deviations among black African children in the North West Province and secondly to determine the difference in the prevalence of posture deformities between boys and girls. In a longitudinal study posture deformities including the entire musculoskeletal system were assessed in 251 schoolchildren (136 girls and 115 boys). Posture screening was done according to the New York Posture test and a posture grid. Subjects were evaluated in a standing position from the rear and lateral side. Foot deformities (flat foot) were also measured with the use of white chalk and a black board. Thereafter the "Adam's test" (forward bending test) were used for further scoliosis evaluation. The prevalence of posture deformities was reported to be high among black African schoolchildren. The incidence of lordosis (84%) and protruding abdomen (67%) was the highest, while twisted head (8%) was reported as the lowest. Gender difference in the prevalence of posture deformities was also found, with a higher incidence of posture deformities reported in girls (54%) as in boys (46%).
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