Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Physical Therapy


Background and Purpose. This study investigated the magnitude of association between low back pain (LBP) and self-reported factors thought to increase the risk of LBP. Subjects and Methods. Questionnaires were completed by 150 patients who were receiving physical therapy for LBP and by 138 patients who were being treated for other reasons. The solicited information was used to estimate odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals for the LBP-risk factor association. Results. Low back pain was positively associated with smoking status, pregnancy, industrial vibration exposure, and time spent in a car (odds ratios [is greater than or equal to] 2.21). Daily lifting, body mass index, activity level, and time sitting or standing showed at most a weak positive association with LBP. Comparisons with estimated associations from other studies were made. Conclusion and Discussion. Data from this study support a statistically significant association between LBP and some factors found in other research to increase the risk of LBP. Study findings may have implications for targeting at-risk groups for back care education or intervention programs.