Prevalence of Lower Back Pain and its Relation to Stress Among Medical Students in Taif University, Saudi Arabia

Lujain H. Alturkistani, Obadah M. Hendi, Ameerah S. Bajaber, Mustafa A. Alhamoud, Shabab S. Althobaiti, Turki Abdulaziz Alharthi, Ayman A. Atallah


Background: Lower back pain (LBP) refers to pain in the back between the last rib and the gluteal fold. Recent psychological research indicates a relevant connection between severe pain and emotional stress. The etiology of musculoskeletal pain shown to be influenced by low social support, high job demands, and low job control.

Methods: A cross‑sectional study of 640 medical students in Taif University was carried out from November 2018 to April 2019. A standardized Nordic questionnaire was employed to assess musculoskeletal pain and K10 was used to assess psychological stress.

Results: Our study found 33.3% of medical students reported lower back pain,
20.7% reported lower back pain 0–7 days during the last 12 months, and 18.8% reported reduction of activity due to lower back pain during the last 12 months. The mean stress score was 22.7 ± 8.8; 20.7% of students with mild stress reported lower back pain. LBP showed non‑significant association to stress categories (P = 0.409).

Conclusions: Our survey found no significant association between
LBP and psychological stress. The three main risk factors associated with lower back pain were being a 2nd year medical student, female gender, and high working hours.

Keywords: Low back pain, medical students, stress

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