Prevalence and factors associated with low back pain among Malaysian army personnel stationed in Klang Valley

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Study aim: The aims of this study were to examine the prevalence of low back pain (LBP) and explore possible factors associ­ated with LBP among Malaysian army personnel deployed in Klang Valley in the year 2018. Material and methods: A self-administered questionnaire on sociodemographic data, occupational background, occupational exposure and LBP evaluation was used in this study. A total of 330 respondents participated in this study and 321 (97%) of them completed and returned the questionnaires. Results: One hundred and fifty-seven respondents complained of LBP, giving a prevalence of 48.9%. LBP was found to be associated with smoking status, history of LBP, history of accident, military rank, category of regiment, lifting weights, push­ing weights, pulling weights and job-related physical activity. Logistic regression analysis identified four associated risk fac­tors of LBP: history of accident (OR = 4.42, 95% 2.29-8.55), history of LBP (OR=1.92, 95% 1.11-3.31), combat regiment (OR = 1.97, 95% 1.14-3.42) and high job-related physical activity (OR = 2.35, 95% 1.31-4.20). Conclusion: Almost half of Malaysian army personnel stationed in Klang Valley reported LBP symptoms. Smoking status, history of LBP, history of accident, junior non-commissioned officers (NCOs), combat regiments, manual handling of objects and moderate/high job-related physical activity are associated with LBP, but there is no evidence of a temporal relationship in the current study. Further exploration with a longitudinal study is needed to identify a cause and effect relationship between occupational exposure and LBP among Malaysian army personnel.

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