Background Musculoskeletal pain is a very common complaint. Its prevalence increases with age but it is experienced also by young individuals. In a previous study concerning prevalence of musculoskeletal pain in joints of upper and lower extremities among university students of physical culture it was found that it occurred within the year in 45,9% of the whole group. Students complained of pain the most frequently in lower extremities joints (35,0%) while pain in upper extremities joints was reported by 20,87% of them. This study is a further step to find the most important factors influencing the occurrence of pain in lower extremities joints in this group.
Objectives To determine the risk factors of the occurrence of pain in lower extremities joints in university students of physical culture.
Methods The study was performed on 503 university students of physical culture, mean age 22,6 yrs (20–28 yrs), 218 women and 285 men. The subjects received a questionnaire concerning questions about musculoskeletal disorders in last 12 months. A reported joint pain had to last for at least 24 h to be considered as relevant. The questionnaire included also question about psycho-social factors, families, smoking habits and many other aspects of everyday life. The questionnaire was responded by 95,8% of students. The potential relationship of the investigated 27 variables was assessed in multivariate logistic regression model and then the role of significant variables was counted as relative risk with 95% of confidence interval in univariate logistic regression model. For statistical evaluation of the data STATA 5.0 software was used.
Results Multivariate logistic regression has revealed that in women only stress related to personal problems (OR 2,3; CI 1,3–4,1), treatment for any long-lasting disease (OR 6,12; CI 1,9–20,1), frequent headaches (OR 2,1; CI 1,1–3,7) were significantly related to reporting pain in lower extremities joints.
In male students reporting joint pain in lower extremities was significantly associated with body height (there was less pain for tall subjects, OR 0,4; CI 0,2–0,8), conflict with lecturers or teachers (OR 2,0; CI 1,2–3,5) and also with bringing up children (OR 3,0; CI 0,9–9,8). In both male and female students there were other risk factors of back pain like abdominal pain, conflicts with fellow students or smoking however the were not independent ones in multivariate logistic regression.
Conclusion In female and male students pain in lower extremities joints was associated with some other health problems or with stress. In males also bringing up children influenced significantly occurrence of pain in lower extremities joints.
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