Functional test measures as risk indicators for low back pain among fixed-wing military pilots
Purpose The purpose of this study was to find out the risk value of functional fitness test (FFT) results for low back pain (LBP) among fixed-wing military pilots. Methods A total of 104 male military pilots were recruited for this study. The study was conducted with a self-administered questionnaire and FFT. The functional tests were performed in the beginning of study (baseline). The questionnaire was carried out at the baseline and 5 years later. Results The isometric low back endurance test result was associated with physical activity-related LBP experienced 5 years later. Demographic information was not associated with LBP. The prevalence of overall LBP was 71% and the flight-related LBP prevalence was 31% at the baseline. Discussion Our findings show that LBP among military pilots is a common problem but it is also associated with tasks other than flying. The functional test results were not associated with flight-related LBP but adequate isometric back endurance may have protective role in LBP caused in physical activities. When trying to find the pilots with increased risk of flight-related LBP, a more sensitive set of tests should be considered.
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