The Cooper River Bridge Run Study of low back pain in runners and walkers

J South Orthop Assoc. 2002 Fall;11(3):136-43.


Investigations dedicated to examining relationships between low back pain (LBP) and factors specific to running and walking are limited. Current literature suggests runners and walkers may have a lower relative risk for significant LBP. The purpose of this study was to investigate the incidence, prevalence, and possible risk factors for LBP among a group of runners and walkers. A survey was administered to participants who registered for either a 10-kilometer run or 4-mile recreational walk. A total of 539 responses were received. Previous history of LBP was reported by 74% of respondents overall. Prevalence of LBP at the time of survey completion was 13.6%. Low back pain was experienced more frequently by obese runners and by those who reported certain patterns of shoe wear. Regular participation in aerobics correlated with a reduced lifetime risk for LBP. We believe these findings warrant further investigation. This knowledge may benefit not only athletes in training, but other fitness enthusiasts, including casual runners and walkers and those who jog or walk to rehabilitate low back injuries.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Orthotic Devices
  • Physical Fitness
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Running
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Walking