Low back pain in physically active young adults
Background: Research of low back pain (LBP) has been recently directed towards the younger age groups due to high predictive value for later life. The aim of the study was to assess the prevalence and risk factors for LBP in the Slovene population of young adults, which are yet unknown. Methods: In this cross sectional study firstgrade students at the Faculty of Sport (FS) and the Faculty of Chemistry (FC), University of Ljubljana, in 2009 were included. The Slovene translation of Chronic Pain Grade questionnaire was implemented. In the FS subgroup the associations between questionnaire results and results of the entrance examination were analyzed and a follow-up questionnaire survey was done after the 1st semester
Results: The questionnaire was returned by 283 students. Average age was 19.9 (2.3) years. Lifelong and 6-month LBP prevalences were 87.3 % (83.1–90.9 %) and 63 % (57.4–68.6 %), respectively. Average LBP intensity was 36.6 (16.9) (range 0–90) out of 100 points, average disability was 18 (18.7) (range 0–83) out of 100 points. Females had higher intensity and disability scores. Competitors had higher pain disability scores than students engaging in sports at recreational level. Gender and level of physical activity were significant independent predictors of intensity and disability scores at multivariate linear regression. LBP was not associated with entrance test results and there were no important changes in the follow- up after the 1st semester in the FS students. Conclusions: We found high LBP prevalence, which was of moderate intensity and caused minor disability. LBP was more severe in females and associated with the level of physical activity. Information about LBP and preventive workout programs should be incorporated into study programs.
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