A prospective study of low back pain in a general population. II. Location, character, aggravating and relieving factors

Scand J Rehabil Med. 1983;15(2):81-8.


In this paper the analyses focus primarily on statements from those 62% (281 men and 294 women) of the participants who at the primary examination reported previous or present low back pain (LBP). In a subsample the most frequent location of the LBP was in the lower lumbar area. Pain radiating to the leg(s) was felt at some time by 36% of the men and 51% of the women. Intense pain was more frequently reported by men, and a feeling of weakness or fatique more frequently by women. Most of the participants felt that the LBP became worse during the day. The most common aggravating factor was stooping, reported by 65% of the participants, followed by the sitting position, reported by 30%. Factors of highest importance for the relief of LBP were lying down (52-54%) and walking around (34-39%). A stated history of pain radiating to the leg(s) was the best indicator for occurrence of LBP in the follow-up year.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Back Pain / diagnosis*
  • Back Pain / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Self-Assessment*