European Spine Journal

, Volume 25, Issue 4, pp 1196–1203 | Cite as

Low back pain status of female university students in relation to different sport activities

  • Pardis Noormohammadpour
  • Mohsen Rostami
  • Mohammad Ali Mansournia
  • Farzin Farahbakhsh
  • Mohammad Hosein Pourgharib Shahi
  • Ramin KordiEmail author
Original Article



To investigate the prevalence of low back pain (LBP) and its absence rate among female university student athletes in different types of sports.


A cross-sectional study based on a standard self-reporting questionnaire was performed among 1335 athletes. Participants were female athletes who attended the National Sports Olympiad of Female University Students in basketball, volleyball, futsal, tennis, badminton, swimming, track and field, shooting, and karate.


One thousand and fifty-nine athletes with the mean (SD) age of 23.1 (3.8) years responded to the questionnaire (response rate 79 %). The 12-month prevalence of LBP was 39.0 %; in addition, lifetime and point prevalence of LBP were 59.7 and 17.8 %, respectively. Basketball (47.9 %) and karate (44.0 %) players had reported the highest 12-month prevalence of LBP. Also, LBP prevalences in shooting (29.7 %) and badminton (42.4 %) players were not negligible. Results show that, LBP led to relatively high absence rate from training sessions (27.9 %) and matches (13.0 %).


While most of the existing literatures regarding female athletes’ LBP have focused on particular sports with specific low back demands (such as skiing and rowing), many other sports have not been studied very well in this regard. Investigating LBP prevalence and related factors in other types of sports, such as combat sports, badminton and shooting, can help us better understand the prevalence of low back pain and provide us with necessary insight to take effective steps towards its prevention in athletes.


Competitive sports Lumbar pain Prevalence 



This research has been supported by Tehran University of Medical Sciences and health Services grant.

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

Supplementary material

586_2015_4034_MOESM1_ESM.docx (174 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 174 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pardis Noormohammadpour
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Mohsen Rostami
    • 1
    • 3
  • Mohammad Ali Mansournia
    • 4
  • Farzin Farahbakhsh
    • 1
    • 3
  • Mohammad Hosein Pourgharib Shahi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ramin Kordi
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Sports Medicine Research Center, Neuroscience InstituteTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  2. 2.Department of Sports and Exercise Medicine, School of MedicineTehran University of Medical Sciences, Imam Khomeini HospitalTehranIran
  3. 3.Spine DivisionNoorafshar Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine HospitalTehranIran
  4. 4.Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public HealthTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran

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