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Prevalence and risk factors for back pain in sports: a systematic review with meta-analysis

Wilson, F, Ardern, CL, Hartvigsen, J, Dane, K, Trompeter, K, Trease, L, Vinther, A, Gissane, C, McDonnell, S-J, Caneiro, JP, Newlands, C, Wilkie, K, Mockler, D and Thornton, JS 2020 , 'Prevalence and risk factors for back pain in sports: a systematic review with meta-analysis' , BMJ , pp. 1-9 , doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2020-102537.

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Objectives: We aimed to determine the prevalence oflow back pain (LBP) in sport, and what risk factors wereassociated with LBP in athletes.Design: Systematic review with meta-analysis.Data sources: Literature searches from databaseinception to June 2019 in Medline, Embase, CumulatedIndex to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL),Web of Science and Scopus, supplemented by greyliterature searching.Eligibility criteria Studies evaluating prevalence ofLBP in adult athletes across all sports.Results: Eighty-six studies were included (30 732,range 20–5958, participants), of which 45 were of’high’ quality. Definitions of LBP varied widely, and in17 studies, no definition was provided. High-qualitystudies were pooled and the mean point prevalenceacross six studies was 42%; range 18%–80% (95% CI27% to 58%, I2=97%). Lifetime prevalence across 13studies was 63%; range 36%–88% (95% CI 51% to74%, I2=99%). Twelve-month LBP prevalence from 22studies was 51%; range 12%–94% (95% CI 41% to61%, I2=98%). Comparison across sports was limited byparticipant numbers, study quality and methodologies,and varying LBP definitions. Risk factors for LBP includedhistory of a previous episode with a pooled OR of3.5; range 1.6–4.0 (95% CI 1.9 to 6.4). Statisticallysignificant associations were reported for high trainingvolume, periods of load increase and years of exposureto the sport.Conclusion: LBP in sport is common but estimatesvary. Current evidence is insufficient to identify whichsports are at highest risk. A previous episode of LBP, hightraining volume, periods of load increase and years ofexposure are common risk factors.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Wilson, F and Ardern, CL and Hartvigsen, J and Dane, K and Trompeter, K and Trease, L and Vinther, A and Gissane, C and McDonnell, S-J and Caneiro, JP and Newlands, C and Wilkie, K and Mockler, D and Thornton, JS
Keywords: low back pain, sport
Journal or Publication Title: BMJ
Publisher: B M J Publishing Group
ISSN: 0959-535X
DOI / ID Number: 10.1136/bjsports-2020-102537
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2020 The Authors

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