Determination of Body Composition Analysis in Association with Pain and Functional Status of Patients with Chronic Mechanical Low Back Pain

  • Fariba Eslamian Associate Professor, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Research Center, Aging Research Institute, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran
  • Neda Dolatkhah Assistant Professor, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Research Center, Aging Research Institute, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran
  • Mahya Pourostadi Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, School of Medicine, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran
  • Ali Pirani Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, School of Medicine, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran
Keywords: Mechanical low back pain; Functional ability; Body composition


Background: Low back pain (LBP) is a social health problem in different societies. Due to its resulting disabilities, costs incurred by the health system, and the inconsistency of existing studies on back pain and body composition analysis (BCA) indices, we decided to study the relationship between body composition, LBP intensity and physical status.

Methods: In a case-control study among patients referring to the physical medicine and rehabilitation outpatient clinic of Imam Reza Tabriz teaching hospital, 55 subjects with LBP in the case group and 55 subjects without LBP in the control were enrolled in the study and body composition parameters including body mass index (BMI), lean body mass (LBM), percentage of body fat (PBF), mass of body fat (MBF), and visceral fat mass (VFM) were determined. The Modified Oswestry Low Back Pain Questionnaire was used to assess the physical function of the subjects in the case group.

Results: There was no significant difference in age and sex between the two groups. The two groups were homogeneous in terms of demographic and baseline variables as well as BCA. In the case group, 30.9% had low disability, 58.2% moderate disability, and 10.9% had high disability. The BMI was not significantly correlated with disability and LBP intensity. The MBF in legs, arms, and trunk had a positive and significant relationship with the walking disability parameter (P = 0.021), but other body composition parameters had no significant relationship with functional ability.

Conclusion: According to the findings, higher PBF and MBF of the upper and lower limbs of the right, left, and trunk, were associated with greater disability in walking in people with LBP. However, no significant relationship was found between LBP intensity and BCA indices including BMI.


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