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The epidemiology of back pain in vocational age groups
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Orthopaedics. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Department of Health and Society, Division of Preventive and Social Medicine and Public Health Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6049-5402
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Orthopaedics. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
1999 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care, ISSN 0281-3432, E-ISSN 1502-7724, Vol. 17, no 1, 17-21 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

OBJECTIVES: To investigate the prevalence of back pain in a general population aged between 20 and 59 years.

POPULATION: A representative sample of 2000 individuals from Ostergotland County, Sweden (population 400,000).

STUDY DESIGN: Cross-sectional study using a questionnaire including the pain drawing.

RESULTS: The observed point prevalence was 28% (95% confidence interval 26-31%). The adjusted prevalence taking into account the non-responders was 23% (21-25%). Lumbar pain with radiation was reported by 40%, while 4% had only cervical pain with radiation. Twelve per cent were on sick-leave due to back pain. Activity of daily life was affected mainly in the group of men aged 40-59 and only in household tasks. The back problems did not affect social activity.

CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of back problems in the vocational ages was found to be 23%. Only small parts of a pain population are on sick-leave or have changed working tasks because of back problems. The distribution of pain in most cases is combined with radiation to extremities and not isolated to a single region. The combination of different localisations shows the pain problem to be more than just a "low back" problem.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
1999. Vol. 17, no 1, 17-21 p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-26127DOI: 10.1080/028134399750002836Local ID: 10586OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-26127DiVA: diva2:246675
Available from: 2009-10-08 Created: 2009-10-08 Last updated: 2013-09-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. The nature of back pain in a general adult population: A longitudal study
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The nature of back pain in a general adult population: A longitudal study
2000 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this thesis was to study in a general adult population the prevalence and incidence of back trouble, predictive factors for new episodes of back pain, new sick leave episodes, and factors important for recovery from back pain. The pain drawing method was used in an epidemiological survey to identify pain in the entire back area. The bias that knowledge of back pain history has on the interpretation of pain drawings was studied in a separate study.

The cross-sectional main study population consisted of 2000 individuals aged 20-59 years. A prospective survey was conducted after one year on the study population of factors important for new sick leave, new back pain episodes and recovery and after five years on two age strata of factors important for retaining back health. After ten years the number of disability pensions granted for back pain during the time period was studied. The socio-demographic and work-related factors that predicted disability pension were studied.

The prevalence of back pain was found to be 23%. Back pain with radiation was reported by 40%, according to the pain drawings. Only 4% reported localised neck pain. Sick leave was reported by 12% of those with back pain. The more generalised pain pattern suggested that back pain is more than a local back pain problem.

The one-year incidence of new back pain was 24%. Seventy-nine percent of the episodes lasted less than 2 months. A history of previous back pain predicted new back pain episodes, while stress at work and low work satisfaction was associated factors. Low age, more qualified work tasks and residence predicted recovery from back pain. New sick leave periods were predicted by unqualified work tasks, pain debut at work, previous back pain history and pain at the primary survey.

The clinical findings in the group with pain at the primary survey showed that the absence of tenderness in the trapezium muscle was the strongest predictor of recovery. It was also found that straighter lordosis and restricted mobility in the cervical spine were associated with new sick leaves in the prospective year.

The pain drawing study showed that knowledge of the pain history affected the interpretation and reliability of the pain drawing evaluation.

The five-year survey showed that absence of physical load in the old age group and absence of psychological stress at work in the younger age group predicted retained back health.

The study of disabilities granted on the grounds of back pain during ten prospective years has shown that age over 40, sick leave at the primary survey together with perceiving the work tasks as meaningless predicted disability pension.

The results of this thesis suggest that back pain should be seen as arecurrent problem, where previous episodes strongly predict new episodes. The complex nature of back pain as a health problem suggests that the rehabilitation should be individualised and include both work-related factors as well as a wide range of factors not related to paid work.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköpings universitet, 2000. 64 p.
Series
Linköping University Medical Dissertations, ISSN 0345-0082 ; 640
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-28067 (URN)12831 (Local ID)91-7219-741-2 (ISBN)12831 (Archive number)12831 (OAI)
Public defence
2000-09-29, Berzeliussalen, Universitetssjukhuset, Linköping, 09:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Available from: 2009-10-08 Created: 2009-10-08 Last updated: 2012-08-14Bibliographically approved

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Reigo, TomasTimpka, ToomasTropp, Hans

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