Department of Physical Therapy Student Theses, Dissertations and Capstones

Document Type

Thesis - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)

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College of Health Care Sciences - Physical Therapy Department

Publication Date / Copyright Date



Nova Southeastern University


Purpose: To determine if the incidence of low back pain and irregular menstrual cycles is affected by weekly mileage of female runners.

Subjects: 117 female runners, members of 2 running clubs in south Florida.

Methodology: Self-designed survey mailed to 263 female runners. Pilot study was conducted on 15 female runners. Final return rate was 44%, n=117.

Results: Incidence of low back pain was 16% in total sample and 14% in distance runners. Largest percentage of women with low back pain ran 2-3 days per week. Low back pain was significantly negatively correlated with number of days women ran weekly (p=.009). Significant negative correlation between low back pain weekly mileage (p=.025). No significance between weekly mileage and irregular menstrual cycles. Women indicated having some knowledge or were well-informed about 4 health issues. 65% received information from sports & health magazines.

Conclusion: Weekly mileage may not be a strong enough factor alone to cause low back pain or irregular menstrual cycles in female runners. Expanding and enhancing prevention and wellness programs should be pursued by the physical therapy profession.


Physical Therapy

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