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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