Research
Print page Print page
Switch language
The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
Published

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

Research output: Contribution to journalReviewResearchpeer-review

  1. Infographic. Benefits and harms of exercise therapy in people with multimorbidity

    Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debateResearchpeer-review

  2. 2021 consensus statement for preventing and managing low back pain in elite and subelite adult rowers

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  3. The relationship between rowing-related low back pain and rowing biomechanics: a systematic review

    Research output: Contribution to journalReviewResearchpeer-review

  4. Treating low back pain in athletes: a systematic review with meta-analysis

    Research output: Contribution to journalReviewResearchpeer-review

  1. 2021 consensus statement for preventing and managing low back pain in elite and subelite adult rowers

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  2. The relationship between rowing-related low back pain and rowing biomechanics: a systematic review

    Research output: Contribution to journalReviewResearchpeer-review

  3. Treating low back pain in athletes: a systematic review with meta-analysis

    Research output: Contribution to journalReviewResearchpeer-review

  • Fiona Wilson
  • Clare L Ardern
  • Jan Hartvigsen
  • Kathryn Dane
  • Katharina Trompeter
  • Larissa Trease
  • Anders Vinther
  • Conor Gissane
  • Sarah-Jane McDonnell
  • J P Caneiro
  • Craig Newlands
  • Kellie Wilkie
  • David Mockler
  • Jane S Thornton
View graph of relations

OBJECTIVES: We aimed to determine the prevalence of low back pain (LBP) in sport, and what risk factors were associated with LBP in athletes.

DESIGN: Systematic review with meta-analysis.

DATA SOURCES: Literature searches from database inception to June 2019 in Medline, Embase, Cumulated Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), Web of Science and Scopus, supplemented by grey literature searching.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA: Studies evaluating prevalence of LBP 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 in 17 studies, no definition was provided. High-quality studies were pooled and the mean point prevalence across six studies was 42%; range 18%-80% (95% CI 27% to 58%, I2=97%). Lifetime prevalence across 13 studies was 63%; range 36%-88% (95% CI 51% to 74%, I2=99%). Twelve-month LBP prevalence from 22 studies was 51%; range 12%-94% (95% CI 41% to 61%, I2=98%). Comparison across sports was limited by participant numbers, study quality and methodologies, and varying LBP definitions. Risk factors for LBP included history of a previous episode with a pooled OR of 3.5; range 1.6-4.0 (95% CI 1.9 to 6.4). Statistically significant associations were reported for high training volume, periods of load increase and years of exposure to the sport.

CONCLUSION: LBP in sport is common but estimates vary. Current evidence is insufficient to identify which sports are at highest risk. A previous episode of LBP, high training volume, periods of load increase and years of exposure are common risk factors.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Sports Medicine
Volume55
Issue number11
Pages (from-to)601-607
Number of pages7
ISSN0306-3674
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021

    Research areas

  • athlete, epidemiology, lower back, lumbar spine, sport

ID: 62081442