Prevalence of low back pain in the elderly population: a systematic review
The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of low-back pain (LBP) and to identify the level of functional disability in elderly individuals in different populations. From January 1985 to October 2018, a search was performed using the following databases: Embase, LILACS, SciELO, Scopus, Medline, and the Web of Science. The descriptors were low-back pain, back pain, lower-back pain, prevalence, and elderly in Portuguese and English. Two independent reviewers conducted a search for studies and evaluated their methodological quality. The search strategy returned 2186 titles, and 35 were included in this review. The studies evaluated 135,059 elderly individuals aged between 60 and 102 years, and the prevalence of LBP ranged from 21% to 75%. The levels of functional disability, as well as functional difficulties, activities of daily living, and physical capacity, were identified in 60% of the studies. This review indicated a high prevalence of LBP in elderly individuals and functional disability that affects factors important for independence. However, the studies used different methodologies, suggesting that more studies be conducted with scientific accuracy, methodological quality, and low risk of bias to contribute to the proposal of preventive actions for elderly populations.