Muscle Strengthening Activities Helps Reduce Odds Of Back Pain

This study showed that muscle strengthening activities at least 2 days/week is associated with lowering your odds of developing lower back pain.

They used the Department of Health and Humans Services (DHHS) recommendations for muscle strengthening activities.  At the DHHS website, they say… Muscle-Strengthening Activities:  Strengthening activities work all the major muscle groups – legs, hips, back, chest, stomach, shoulders, and arms. These activities include, but are not limited to: lifting weights, push-ups, sit-ups, and working with resistance bands. Don’t have weights? Common household items such as bottled water and soup cans can also be used.

Associations Between Low Back Pain and Muscle-strengthening Activity in U.S. Adults

Alnojeidi, Albatool H. MSH*,†; Johnson, Tammie M. DrPH, MPH‡; Richardson, Michael R. MSH*; Churilla, James R. PhD, MPH*

Spine: August 15th, 2017 – Volume 42 – Issue 16 – p 1220–1225
doi: 10.1097/BRS.0000000000002063

Study Design. This was a cross-sectional study.

Objective. The primary aim of the study was to examine the association between low back pain (LBP) and muscle-strengthening activity (MSA) among U.S. adults using gender-stratified analyses.

Summary of Background Data. LBP is a common medical condition that impacts quality of life and professional productivity and increases the financial burden on the health care system by augmenting medical treatment costs. Previous studies analyzing gender-dependent relationships between MSA and LBP have produced mixed results.

Methods. Our sample included 12,721 participants from the 1999 to 2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Participants were categorized into one of three levels of self-reported MSA: no MSA, insufficient MSA (1 day/wk), or meeting the 2008 Associations Between Low Back Pain and Muscle-strengthening Activity in U.S. Adults (≥2 days/wk).

Results. Gender-stratified analyses revealed significantly lower odds of reporting LBP among women [odds ratio (OR) 0.82, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.70–0.96, P = 0.03] and men (OR 0.86; 95% CI 0.70–0.96, P = 0.01) who reported amounts of MSA that met the DHHS recommendation compared with those reporting no MSA. Following adjustment for smoking status, the odds remained significant among women (P = 0.03) but not among men (P = 0.21).

Conclusion. These findings indicate that engaging in MSA at least 2 days/wk is associated with lower odds of LBP and that smoking may be an important mediating factor that should be considered in future LBP research.

Level of Evidence: 4

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