Background: Low Back Pain (LBP) is commonly reported as a very frequent disorder in sports, but its prevalence in runners remains unclear.
Objectives: To determine the prevalence of LBP in a wide sample of Italian runners.
Design: A cross-sectional online survey.
Setting: A national survey, according to the CHERRIES and STROBE guidelines, was performed in 2019.
Participants: 2539 Italian runners.
Methods: A sample of Italian runners registered with national running associations was recruited. The survey was conducted using an online survey development platform. The questionnaire was self-reported and included 38 questions.
Main outcome measures: Descriptive statistics and frequencies were used to analyze results. Relationships between demographics, daily habits and running characteristics and the responses given was calculated with Cramer's V. Only correlation values higher >0.60 were deemed of interest.
Results: 2539 questionnaires (63.5%) were valid for analysis. In total, 22.6% of runners reported having experienced LBP in the past year. Most participants (77.0%) reporting episodes of LBP believed it was not caused by running. No significant correlations (Cramer's V < 0.60) were found between LBP and demographics, training characteristics or lifestyle habits.
Conclusion: The prevalence of LBP among Italian runners was 22,57%. LBP was not associated with training, equipment or lifestyle.
Keywords: Low back pain; Prevalence; Related running injuries; Risk factors; Running.
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