2009 Volume 47 Issue 3 Pages 301-312
An increasing body of evidence now suggests that menstrual disorders may influence the development of Low Back Pain (LBP) among women of reproductive age. To investigate this issue in Japan, we conducted a large cross-sectional survey of female nurses from a university teaching hospital during 2008. Nurses reported a wide range of symptoms both prior to and during menstruation, including breast tenderness, stomach pain, light headedness and fatigue. Around three-quarters had experienced at least one episode of LBP in the previous 12-months, with most symptoms lasting one week or less. Increasing body weight was correlated with an increased risk of LBP affecting their daily activities (OR: 12.94, 95%CI: 1.54-116.56). Having three or more children was correlated with a reduced risk of experiencing LBP (OR: 0.13, 95%CI: 0.01-0.97). Nurses who reported breast tenderness prior to menstruation were twice as likely to suffer LBP (OR: 2.09, 95%CI: 1.20-3.73), while those who reported breast tenderness during menstruation were almost twice as likely to suffer LBP that interfered with their daily activities (OR: 1.85, 95%CI: 1.06-3.32). Overall, our study suggests that reproductive symptoms and menstrual disorders may influence the development of LBP among Japanese nurses, although the magnitude of this effect appears to be less than that reported in some previous research.