Low back pain and associated risk factors among medical students in Bangladesh: A cross-sectional study
Background: Low back pain (LBP) is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. Different studies showed the high prevalence of LBP among medical students. However, no study has been conducted on Bangladeshi medical students. Objective: This study evaluated the prevalence, characteristics, and associated risk factors among medical students in Bangladesh. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted from October to December 2020 among randomly selected 240 medical students and medical interns in Faridpur Medical College, Bangladesh, using an online questionnaire. In data analysis, chi-square test and binary logistic regression were performed, and a p-value of < 0.05 was regarded as statistically significant. Results: A total of 207 participants responded, with a response rate of 82.8%. The mean age of the participants was 22.36 ± 1.915 years. The point, 6-month, and 12-month prevalence of LBP was 25.6%, 46.9%, and 63.3%, respectively. In most participants, LBP was localized (53.2%), recurrent (64.9%), undiagnosed (70.8%), affected for a short period (55%), and relieved without taking any treatment (60.4%). Participants who had a significantly higher 12-month prevalence of LBP included females (72.2% vs 52.2%), with BMI >25 kg/m2 (73.2% vs 56.7%), those who performed physical activity at low to moderate frequency (72.4% vs 29.5%), those who spent > 6 hours/day by sitting (71.3% vs 45.3%), and those who did not have enough rest time (92.7% vs 56%). Ergonomic features of chairs, such as having back support, adjustable back support, and adjustable sitting surface, significantly (p < 0.05) influenced the outcomes. Conclusion: The prevalence of LBP among medical students in Bangladesh was high, and most of the risk factors associated with the high prevalence of LBP were modifiable. Hence, LBP can be prevented by implementing preventive strategies and providing ergonomic training and physical activity facilities.