Study aim: To assess the presence of musculoskeletal deformities in lower extremities and to detect faulty posture in schoolchildren living in a rural region of Iran.
Material and methods: 172 schoolchildren aged 5-20 years, including 66 boys and 106 girls were screened deviations in the musculoskeletal system. Furthermore, the postural muscles including the hamstring and gastroc-soleus were examined for finding any shortness.
Results: The prevalence of cervical lordosis (22.6% vs. 6.1%), forward head posture (24.1% vs. 9.1%) and thoracic kyphosis (27.8 % vs. 7.6%) was significantly higher in girls than in boys. The prevalence of cervical lordosis, FHP, thoracic kyphosis, and genu varum increased with age; in the case of genu valgum, the situation was reversed. Genu varum was almost twice as frequent in girls as in boys (44.4% vs. 25.8%; p<0.01), while the genu valgum was more frequent (p<0.001) in boys than in girls (13.6 and 2.8, respectively). No significant age or gender-dependent differences were found for hamstring shortness (29%), gastroc-soleus shortness (21%), genu recurvatum (22%), and hallux valgus (31%).
Conclusions: Faulty posture and lower limb deformities were highly prevalent in school children in this rural region. More attention should be paid to implementing school-based screening programs aimed at early detection of any musculoskeletal-related abnormalities and taking preventive steps to reduce their negative consequences.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.