A one-year prospective study on back pain among novice golfers

Am J Sports Med. Sep-Oct 1996;24(5):659-64. doi: 10.1177/036354659602400516.


We conducted a 1-year follow-up study on back pain among 196 men taking up golf. A questionnaire on individual characteristics, occupation, sports, and back pain was distributed at the start of the study and was followed by another questionnaire after 12 months. Eleven percent of the original subjects (25 of 211) were lost to followup, but withdrawal from the survey was not associated with health status. In the baseline survey (N = 221), the self-reported lifetime cumulative incidence of back pain was 63%; 28% reported back pain during the month before answering the questionnaire, and 13% reported current back pain. Athletes had an increased odds ratio of 2.1 (95% confidence interval, 1.1 to 4.0) for previous back pain. During the 12 months between the surveys, the incidence of first-time back pain was 8% and the incidence of recurrent back pain was about 45%. Men involved in golf and another sport demonstrated a risk of 1.4 for recurrence of back pain, compared with men playing golf only. Six subjects attributed the recurrent back pain to playing golf. Given the high proportion of athletes in this study (68%), the risk factor of playing golf failed to demonstrate an additional significant effect on the general relationship between sport and back pain.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Back Pain / etiology*
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Golf / injuries*
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity
  • Occupations
  • Odds Ratio
  • Population Surveillance
  • Prospective Studies
  • Recurrence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sports
  • Surveys and Questionnaires