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  1. K Pasanen1,
  2. M Rossi1,
  3. A Heinonen2,
  4. J Parkkari1,
  5. P Kannus3
  1. 1Tampere Research Center of Sports Medicine, UKK Institute, Tampere, Finland
  2. 2Department of Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland
  3. 3Injury and Osteoporosis Research Center, UKK Institute, Tampere, Finland


Background Low back pain (LBP) is a common complaint in general population affecting both genders and almost all age-groups. LBP is a common problem in sports as well, even in younger populations. LBP is prone to recur, thus there is a need for studies on the early phases of the problem in different sports.

Objective To investigate the prevalence, nature, severity and risk factors of self-reported LBP in young team sport players.

Design A retrospective cross-sectional study.

Setting Finnish female and male basketball, floorball, ice hockey and volleyball teams.

Participants This study is a part of an ongoing cohort study exploring risk factors for sports injuries. Players from 22 teams, a total of 464 young players (16±1.9 years), have been included.

Risk factor assessment Players' gender, age, sport and family LBP history were assessed as risk factors.

Main outcome measurements Prevalence of LBP provided by a standardized Nordic questionnaire. LBP was defined: ache, pain or discomfort of lumbar region with or without radiation to one or both legs.

Results 255 (54.9 %) of all players had suffered LBP during the previous year. 73 (15.7 %) had received medical attention for LBP. 51 players (11.0 %) had suffered over 4 weeks' total duration of pain symptoms during the previous year. 80 (17.2 %) reported missing training because of LBP. Male players had more time-loss from training due to LBP than females. Family history of LBP and higher age were associated with LBP in players.

Conclusions Low back pain is a relatively common complaint in young team sport players. Preventive measures are needed to reduce low back pain in youth sports.

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