Send to

Choose Destination
J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2010 Feb;33(2):88-95. doi: 10.1016/j.jmpt.2009.12.005.

Risk factors associated with back pain: a cross-sectional study of 963 college students.

Author information

Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1681, USA.



The purpose of this study was to evaluate standard measures of health behavior for association with back pain among college students using data from the standardized National College Health Assessment survey. This investigation evaluated potential risk factors among a population of students at a Colorado university.


This cross-sectional study included 963 survey results that were assessed using backward selection logistic regression techniques to evaluate the associations between common college-life health behaviors and back pain occurrence within the past school year.


Thirty-eight percent of college students surveyed reported having back pain within the past school year. Investigators found that univariate associations included multiple domains, but only psychosocial factors remained statistically significant in a final regression model and were associated with back pain. Feeling chronically fatigued (odds ratio, 3.89; 95% confidence interval, 1.09-13.86) and being in an emotionally abusive relationship (odds ratio, 2.78; 95% confidence interval, 1.69-4.57) were the factors most strongly associated with back pain in the final model.


Psychosocial factors were identified to be associated with back pain. The prevalence of back pain among this younger population is of significant concern and warrants further investigation to identify contributing factors that may help in the development of interventions to reduce the epidemic of back pain within college students and lessen the burden upon college health providers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center