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Investigation of low back pain in a non-hospital population of the coastline of the State of São Paulo

By Janaína Macedo Malateaux, Flávia Rother Ricci and Yára Dadalti Fragoso


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Low back pain is a prevalent complaint of multifactorial origins. To date, there have been no studies on the prevalence and characteristics of low back pain in the city of Santos, in the coastal region of the State of São Paulo, Brazil. The objective of the present study was to assess the profile of middle-aged individuals with low back pain from the general population aged 40-59 years, regarding gender, body mass index, regular physical activity and load handling. METHOD: The study design was prospective, exploratory and transversal, comprising 200 adults aged between 40 and 59 years, randomly selected as the study population. These individuals were sequentially approached by the researchers and asked whether they would agree to answer a medical questionnaire. No indication of the intention of researching low back pain was given before the individuals had agreed to participate. RESULTS: Out of 200 individuals (78 males and 122 females), 159 of them (60 males and 99 females) answered that they had experienced at least one significant and limiting episode of low back pain in their lives. A subgroup of 109 individuals (37 males and 72 females) had sought medical care for this painful episode. There were no statistically significant differences regarding gender, body mass index or number of hours sitting down at work and the presence of low back pain. There was a small positive correlation between low back pain and load handling at work, as well as a slight negative correlation between low back pain and regular physical activity. CONCLUSION: Low back pain was a highly prevalent condition in otherwise healthy individuals in our region

Topics: Low back pain, Pain, Physical activity
Publisher: Sociedade Brasileira para o Estudo da Dor
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1590/s1806-00132011000100005
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