Index to Chiropractic Literature
Index to Chiropractic Literature
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ID 26961
  Title Risk factors for low back pain in active military personnel: A systematic review
Journal Chiropr & Manual Ther. 2021 ;29(52):1-17
Peer Review Yes
Publication Type Systematic Review

Purpose: Low back pain (LBP) is prevalent in military personnel. We aimed to systematically review the literature regarding risk factors for first-time LBP during military service among active duty military personnel.

Methods: We searched six electronic databases (inception-April 2020) for randomised controlled trials, cohort studies, and case–control studies published in English in peer-reviewed journals. Eligible studies were independently critically appraised by paired reviewers and a descriptive synthesis was conducted.

Results: We screened 1981 records, reviewed 118 full-text articles, and synthesised data from eight acceptable quality cohort studies. Studies assessed physical (n = 4), sociodemographic (n = 2), and/or occupational factors (n = 5) associated with LBP. Two studies reported prior LBP was associated with a greater than twofold increased risk of LBP compared to those without prior LBP. Other factors consistently associated with LBP included previous musculoskeletal injury (n = 2), less time spent on physical training (n = 2), female sex (n = 2), and lower rank (n = 2). Factors associated with LBP from single studies included marital status, lower education level, blast injury, job duties, and service type. We found inconsistent associations for performance on physical fitness tests, age, and occupation type. Psychological risk factors were not assessed in any included studies.

Conclusion: In active duty personnel, prior history of LBP, previous musculoskeletal injury, less time in physical training, female sex, and lower rank were consistent risk factors for LBP. This information is relevant for researchers, active duty military personnel, and other decision makers. Future studies should explore causal relationships for LBP in this population.

PROSPERO registration number: CRD42018084549

Author keywords: Low back pain — Risk factor —  Military —  Systematic review

Author affiliations: DT, KM: Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; MR, CC: Institute for Disability and Rehabilitation Research, Ontario Tech University and Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, Oshawa, Ontario, Canada; CC: Faculty of Health Sciences, Ontario Tech University, Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
Corresponding author: Daphne To—

This abstract is reproduced with the permission of the publisher; click on the above link for free full text.  Online access only. PubMed Record | PDF


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