Physikalische Medizin, Rehabilitationsmedizin, Kurortmedizin 2019; 29(03): 156-160
DOI: 10.1055/a-0765-9849
Original Article
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Upper Back Pain among Physical Therapy Students and Its Association with Gender, Body Mass Index, Study Hours and Use of cell Phones

Schmerzen im oberen Rücken bei Studierenden der Physiotherapie in Zusammenhang mit Geschlecht, Body-Mass-Index, Lernzeit und Gebrauch von Mobiltelefon
Sana Fatima
1   Physiotherapy, Mahboob Medical Institute, Peshawar, Pakistan
Aatik Arsh
2   Physiotherapy, Paraplegic Center Peshawar, Peshawar, Pakistan
Muhammad Daud
1   Physiotherapy, Mahboob Medical Institute, Peshawar, Pakistan
Mahreen Gohar
3   Ahmad medical Institute, Physiotherapy, Peshawar, Pakistan
Aftab Ahmad
4   Physiotherapy, Rumaila Hospital, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar
Ali Maan Shah
5   Physiotherapy, Rahman Medical Institute, Peshawar, Pakistan
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

received 30 August 2018

accepted 01 October 2018

Publication Date:
04 February 2019 (online)


Introduction Musculoskeletal pain is common among Physical therapy students due to prolonged study hours and clinical practice. The objective of current study was to determine the prevalence of upper back pain among physical therapy students and its association with demographic information, length of study hours and use of cell Phones.

Methods This cross sectional survey was conducted in Peshawar, Pakistan from November 2017 to March 2018. 232 students from different physical therapy institutes were included in the study through consecutive sampling. Self-administered questionnaire was used as the study conducting tool having questions regarding demographic information, Body mass index (BMI) study hours, use of cell phone and upper back pain.

Results The Prevalence of upper back pain among DPT students was 44.8% (n=104) in which 33(31.7%) male students and 71(68.3%) female students had upper back pain. There was significant association between female gender and upper back pain (p-value<0.001). Nine (8.7%) underweight, 75 (72.1%) students with normal BMI, 18 (17.3%) overweight, and 2 (1.9%) obese students had upper back pain. There was no significant association between BMI and upper back pain (P=0.459). Majority of students (57.7%, n=60) who were involved in university activities like sitting looking straight during lectures on multimedia or white board for 3–5 h reported upper back pain. On the other hand majority of students (49%, n=51) whose study activities involve looking down during book reading etc for 1–2 h reported upper back pain. However, there was no significant association between activities like sitting looking straight (P=0.691) and sitting looking down (P=0.880) most of the time and upper back pain. Majority of students (43.3%, n=45) who used cell phone for more than 5 h had upper back pain and there was marginally significant association (P=0.091) between use of cell phones for long duration and upper back pain.

Conclusion The frequency of upper back pain was high among physical therapy students. Female gender was highly associated with upper back pain. There was no significant association of upper back pain with BMI, study hours and use of cell phones.


Einführung Beschwerden des Bewegungsapparats treten bei Studierenden der Physiotherapie aufgrund der langen Lernzeit und der klinischen Praxiseinheiten häufig auf. Mit der vorliegenden Studie sollte die Prävalenz von Schmerzen im oberen Rücken bei Studierenden der Physiotherapie und der Zusammenhang zu demografischen Daten, Länge der Lernzeit und Gebrauch von Mobiltelefonen bestimmt werden.

Methoden Diese Querschnittstudie wurde in Peshawar, Pakistan von November 2017 bis März 2018 durchgeführt. 232 Studierende von verschiedenen Instituten für Physiotherapie wurden mittels fortlaufender Probandenauswahl für diese Studie ausgewählt. Zur Durchführung der Studie füllten die Teilnehmer einen Selbstbeurteilungsbogen mit demografischen Fragen, Fragen zum Body-Mass-Index (BMI), zur Länge der Lernzeit, zum Gebrauch von Mobiltelefonen und zu Schmerzen im oberen Rücken aus.

Ergebnisse Die Prävalenz von Schmerzen im oberen Rücken bei Studierenden der Physiotherapie betrug 44,8% (n=104), davon waren 33 (31,7%) männliche Studierende und 71 (68,3%) weibliche Studierende von Schmerzen im oberen Rücken betroffen. Es bestand ein signifikanter Zusammenhang zwischen weiblichem Geschlecht und Schmerzen im oberen Rücken (p-value<0,001). Von den Studierenden, die unter Schmerzen im oberen Rücken litten, waren 9 (8,7%) untergewichtig, 75 (72,1%) zeigten einen normalen BMI, 18 (17,3%) waren übergewichtig und 2 (1,9%) adipös. Es bestand kein signifikanter Zusammenhang zwischen BMI und Schmerzen im oberen Rücken (P=0,459). Die Mehrheit der Studierenden (57,7%, n=60), die für ihr Studium 3–5 Stunden pro Tag damit verbrachten, im Sitzen geradeaus auf einen Bildschirm oder Whiteboard zu schauen, gaben an, unter Schmerzen im oberen Rücken zu leiden. Die Mehrheit der Studierenden (49%, n=51), die 1–2 Stunden pro Tag in sitzender Position nach unten schauend Bücher lasen, gaben ebenfalls an, unter Schmerzen im oberen Rücken zu leiden. Es gab jedoch keinen signifikanten Zusammenhang zwischen den Aktivitäten in sitzender Position geradeaus schauen (P=0,691) und in sitzender Position meistens nach unten schauen (P=0,880) und Schmerzen im oberen Rücken. Die Mehrheit der Studierenden (43,3%, n=45) die mehr als 5 Stunden pro Tag ein Mobiltelefon benutzten, litten unter Schmerzen im oberen Rücken. Es gab einen marginal signifikanten Zusammenhang (P=0,091) zwischen dem Gebrauch eines Mobiltelefons über einen langen Zeitraum und Schmerzen im oberen Rücken.

Schlussfolgerung Schmerzen im oberen Rücken traten bei Studierenden der Physiotherapie häufig auf. Es bestand ein wesentlicher Zusammenhang zwischen weiblichem Geschlecht und dem Auftreten von Schmerzen im oberen Rücken. Kein signifikanter Zusammenhang bestand zwischen Schmerzen im oberen Rücken und BMI, Länge der Lernzeit und Gebrauch eines Mobiltelefons.

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