JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW
SYSTEMATIC REVIEW
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Modifiable lifestyle-related prognostic factors for the onset of chronic spinal pain: A systematic review of longitudinal studies.

BACKGROUND: Stratified approaches to spinal pain that address psychosocial risk factors reduce long-term disability to a moderate extent. Identifying and managing other risk factors might help improve outcomes.

OBJECTIVE: This systematic review of longitudinal studies aimed to evaluate possible associations between the onset of chronic spinal pain (including low back, back and neck pain) and putative modifiable lifestyle-related risk or protective factors.

METHODS: This systematic review of longitudinal studies published during the last 2 decades followed PRISMA guidelines. Two reviewers screened Medline, Scopus, Pedro, Cochrane Library, Psycinfo, Science Direct, PTSDpubs and Google Scholar for relevant studies. The QUIPS tool was used to assess the risk of bias. A qualitative meta-synthesis of relevant factors was performed.

RESULTS: Of 3716 unique records, 14 studies met the inclusion criteria (10 with low risk of bias and 4 moderate risk of bias). The highest bias observed was attrition. For chronic low back pain, we found moderate evidence for the involvement of high body weight, waist circumference, and hip circumference and conflicting evidence for high body mass index (BMI), smoking, and physical activity. For chronic neck pain, we found strong evidence for high BMI in women, moderate evidence for sleep disorders in women and conflicting evidence for high BMI in men and physical activity. For chronic back pain, we found limited evidence for gardening/yard work in men and more than one adult at home. Effect sizes were small.

CONCLUSIONS: Several modifiable lifestyle-related factors were identified. Evidence is still sparse and there is a need for more studies. PROSPERO database registration: Ref 172,112 CRD42020172112.

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