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The Prevalence and Factors Associated with Musculoskeletal Pain Among Pilgrims During the Hajj

Authors Alshehri MA, Alzaidi J, Alasmari S, Alfaqeh A, Arif M, Alotaiby SF, Alzahrani H

Received 24 November 2020

Accepted for publication 16 January 2021

Published 9 February 2021 Volume 2021:14 Pages 369—380


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Michael Schatman

Mansour Abdullah Alshehri,1,2 Jamal Alzaidi,3 Sultan Alasmari,3 Ali Alfaqeh,3 Mohammad Arif,3 Sultan Falh Alotaiby,4 Hosam Alzahrani5

1Physiotherapy Department, Faculty of Applied Medical Sciences, Umm Al-Qura University, Mecca, Saudi Arabia; 2NHMRC Centre of Clinical Research Excellence in Spinal Pain, Injury and Health, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia; 3Medical Rehabilitation Department, Makkah Health Affairs General Directorate, Mecca, Saudi Arabia; 4Physiotherapy Department, Hira General Hospital, Mecca, Saudi Arabia; 5Physiotherapy Department, College of Applied Medical Science, Taif University, Taif, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence: Mansour Abdullah Alshehri
Physiotherapy Department, Faculty of Applied Medical Sciences, Umm Al-Qura University, Al Awali, Mecca, 24381, Saudi Arabia
Tel +966569693637

Background: Musculoskeletal pain is a primary burden on individuals as well as social and health care systems. Annually, 2– 3 million pilgrims perform the Hajj in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The Hajj is highly physically demanding because pilgrims generally move by foot for long distances among a series of religious sites, an effort that may exceed their typical levels of physical activity. To understand the impact of musculoskeletal pain on the completion of the Hajj, it is first necessary to evaluate the extent of the problem. Accordingly, this study aimed to estimate the prevalence of musculoskeletal pain and associated factors among pilgrims during the Hajj.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted during the period of the Hajj. The participants were adult pilgrims ≥ 18 years of age. Data regarding demographics, the prevalence of falls and the point prevalence of musculoskeletal pain by anatomical site were recorded. Participants were allowed to report more than one site of pain. Prevalence, crude and adjusted risk ratios were calculated.
Results: A total of 1715 pilgrims were included in the analysis. The prevalence of falls was 13.76%. The prevalence of overall musculoskeletal pain (pain at any site) was 80.46%. Musculoskeletal pain was most commonly reported in the ankle/foot (38.34%), leg (29.89%), lower back (28.47%) and knee (21.84%). In general, musculoskeletal pain at multiple sites was more common in females and in older and obese individuals. However, there were variations in the importance of sex, age and body mass index as associated factors across different pain sites.
Conclusion: Musculoskeletal pain is common among pilgrims. Unlike most populations examined in other studies, ankle/foot pain was the most common in pilgrims. These data provide guidance for potential preventative programs and the allocation of resources to optimize pilgrims’ experiences and ability to complete the Hajj.

Keywords: musculoskeletal pain, falls, sex, age, BMI, Hajj

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