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Prevalence of Low Back Pain Among athletes in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Abdulrahman Omar Albasseet, Saleh Abubaker, Mohammad Mandourah, Aljoharah Alsaud, Maha Alfadda, Faisal Eid Almutairi, Ziad Rayes.

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Background: Lower back pain is a major complaint presented globally with its manifestation attributed to ligament strain or muscle strain and bulging or ruptured disks. 7.5% of the world population suffers from lower back pain with more than 70% of people in developed countries experiencing low back pain at some time. Lower back pain causes posturing problems and decreased motion ranges limiting people's ability to do work. The defect also causes numerous issues like debility, affects the quality of life, and impairs the ability to function and work, generating a socioeconomic burden on patients and society, which may challenge the health care system's cost-effectiveness. The complaint is enormously common in athletes and sportsmen. However, there remains a gap in understanding its prevalence across various sports and time frames. Lower back pain anatomic changes affect athletes' levels of exercising and competing which can result in permanent suspension from sporting activities.
The issue of low back pain (LBP) is a persisting challenge, therefore, we are conducting this study to determine the ubiquity of low back pain among athletes in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Aim: The purpose of this qualitative research was to understand the ubiquity and prevalence of low back pain among athletes in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Materials and methods: The study involved 371 participants enrolled from three units; gyms, sports centers, and public places. The study took place between May 2022 and August 2022. Self-administered questionnaires with questions on demographics and a standardized scale (Standardized Nordic questionnaires for the analysis of musculoskeletal symptoms) were used. Data collection was exercised by trained research assistants pre-trained by the research team. All the questions administered were standardized to enable respondents to receive duplicate questions with identical wording.
The participants had a mean age of 26.9 years ± 7.69. Demographic: Gender (M, 193; 52%. F, 178; 48%). BMI (Under, 15; 4.1%, Normal, 184; 184; 49.69%, Overweight, 128; 34.7% and Obese 42; 11.4%). smoking, (yes 114; 30.71%, No 234; 63.1%, ex 23; 6.2%). Nationality, (Saudi, 288; 77.6%, Non-Saudi; 88; 22.4%). Prevalence of back pain: Once in a lifetime, (305; 82.2%, never, 66; 17.8 %,) last twelve months (158; 42.6%, no pain, 213; 57.4%) past seven days (yes 106; 28.6%, no pain in 265; 71.4 %.) p = 0.028), Associated factors: feeling sad (0.002) uncomfortable furniture (p = 0.005), and gender (p < 0.001). Exercise duration and frequency exercising (p < 0.017) (p < 0.052) and Weightlifting (p < 0.065).
Conclusion: Back pain is a relatively common complaint experienced by people and is more common among athletes. Besides exercising, it is evident that uncomfortable sleeping conditions, mental well-being, and gender play a big role in spawning back pain.

Key words: Low back pain, Back pain, athletes, sports

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