Prevalence of low back pain in India: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Work. 2022 Aug 6. doi: 10.3233/WOR-205300. Online ahead of print.


Background: Although many studies have investigated the prevalence of low back pain (LBP) among Indian subjects, no meta-analysis has been conducted to determine the comprehensive epidemiological point, annual, lifetime prevalence of LBP among Indian subjects.

Objective: The purpose of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to investigate the point, annual, and lifetime prevalence of LBP in the Indian population.

Methods: We searched PubMed, Embase, Science Direct, and Cochrane Library databases for relevant studies that reported point, annual, or lifetime prevalence of LBP among Indian subjects,. Pooled point, annual and lifetime prevalence rates were calculated. Meta-analysis, subgroup analysis, sensitivity analysis and publication bias assessment were performed.

Results: Ninety-seven studies were included in this review. Fifty-four studies included in the review (55.5%) were found to be of higher methodological quality. The pooled point, annual, and lifetime prevalence of LBP in India was 48% (95% CI 40-56%); 51% (95% CI 45-58%), and 66% (95% CI 56-75%), respectively. The pooled prevalence rates were highest among females, the rural population, and among elementary workers.

Conclusion: The point, annual, and lifetime prevalence rates of LBP in the Indian population is higher compared to global and other ethnic populations affecting a large proportion of the population, especially among women, rural population and in elementary workers. The findings of this study can be the basis for formulating policy regarding the prevention and treatment of LBP in a large part of the global population.

Keywords: Epidemiology; India; low back pain; prevalence; spine.

Publication types

  • Review