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Pain Research and Treatment
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 1230384, 4 pages
Research Article

Prevalence of Low Back Pain among Undergraduate Physiotherapy Students in Nigeria

Department of Medical Rehabilitation (Physiotherapy), College of Medical Sciences, University of Maiduguri, Maiduguri 600001, Borno State, Nigeria

Received 20 December 2015; Accepted 20 January 2016

Academic Editor: Giustino Varrassi

Copyright © 2016 Grace O. Vincent-Onabajo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Low back pain (LBP) is a major cause of disability and the most common work-related musculoskeletal disorder among physiotherapists. This study examined the prevalence of low back pain among students undergoing training to become physiotherapists. Methods. Participants were 207 undergraduate clinical physiotherapy students at three universities in Nigeria. A modified version of a questionnaire used in a previous study was utilized to obtain demographic, educational activities, and LBP data. Prevalence of LBP was examined with descriptive statistics while factors associated with prevalence were explored using chi-square statistics. Results. More male students (53.1%) and those in the penultimate year of study (53.1%) participated in the study. Lifetime, 12-month, 1-month, and 7-day prevalence of LBP were 45.5%, 32.5%, 17.7%, and 11.5%, respectively. Prevalence of LBP was not significantly associated with any of the demographic variables. Educational activities, namely, “having techniques practiced on self for ≤10 hours” and “treating patients for ≥30 hours,” a month prior to the study were significantly () associated with higher 1-month and 7-day LBP prevalence, respectively. Conclusions. Although the prevalence of LBP was comparatively low, its association with educational activities emphasizes the need to incorporate effective LBP preventive strategies in the training of physiotherapy students.