Strength in the muscles of the back, or a lack of strength, can contribute to back pain, a condition that massage therapists address often.

In new research, investigators set out to explore the relationship between back-muscle endurance, or strength, and a range of familial, physical, lifestyle and psychosocial variables in adolescents and young adults.

“There is evidence that low-back pain interventions that focus on improved back-muscle endurance are effective,” the researchers noted in an abstract published on “However, the mechanisms associated with back-muscle endurance performance in adolescents and young adults are largely unclear; in particular the potential familial relationship between parents and their children remains unexplored.”

For this study, 109 children (47 boys and 62 girls), and 101 parents (39 fathers and 62 mothers) completed a series of physical, lifestyle and psychosocial assessments.

Children’s sitting trunk angle, pain sensitivity, percent trunk fat, waist girth, and body mass index were associated with their back muscle endurance performance, accounting for between 5.2 and 20.9 percent of back-muscle endurance.

Researchers found that mothers’ back-muscle endurance performance was related to children’s performance, accounting for 14.4 percent of the variance in the children’s back-muscle endurance. Fathers’ back-muscle endurance performance had a similar, albeit non-significant effect.

“An Exploration of the Relationship Between Back Muscle Endurance and Familial, Physical, Lifestyle, and Psychosocial Factors in Adolescents and Young Adults” was published in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy in June.

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