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Low back pain (LBP) among children and adolescents has become the subject of an increasing amount of literature over the last 15 years. This topic, which was considered almost insignificant less than two decades ago, was the focus of a recent international meeting organised in Grenoble (France) in March 1999. This review paper is the result of an literature update search performed by members of three groups which have been active in this field for many years. Current epidemiological data on LBP is summarized as well as the role of the major risk factors according to studies published in the principal peer reviewed journals interested in the topic.