Low back pain (LBP) is a multidimensional disorder which is common among military personnel. It may cause disability, reduced productivity and combat readiness of forces, and increased health care costs. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the risk factors associated with LBP in male military personnel.
This study is a case-control study of 250 military personnel with chronic LBP and 250 healthy military men were assessed through simple nonprobability sampling. A three-part questionnaire (demographic, occupational and clinical data) was used for both groups with closed questions, Job Related Physical Demands questionnaire (JRPD), and Health Risk Appraisals questionnaire (HRA). Evaluation of relationship between risk factors associated with low back pain in both groups was done.
Age, height, weight, and work record were not significantly different between the two groups of military personnel. Among the factors studied, there was a positive significant relationship between LBP and hard job titles (p=0.012), prolonged work experience (p=0.002), heavy and continuous physical activity (p=0.015), and awkward posture (0.034) (p=0.003). Also, attendance in exercise programs (P=0.003), body mass index (p=0.025) education level (p=0.005), smoking (p=0.011), duration of LBP (p=0.003) spine deformity (p=0.002), history of LBP (p=0.011) showed significant negative correlation. No significant relationship was found between the variables of severity of pain, and having diffuse pain with low back pain.
The hard job titles, high work history, heavy and consecutive physical activity, poor posture, lack of exercise, high BMI, smoking, duration of back pain, deformity in the spine, and history of previous pain are risk factors associated with low back pain in in male military personnel. It seems possible to reduce the amount of these factors by preventing new lesions or expanding them, and improving the level of military personnel efficiency.
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