Topics in Exercise Science and Kinesiology Volume 4: Issue 1, Article 13, 2023. Prior research has shown that college students are a unique subset of our global population that commonly experience stresses and strains to their musculoskeletal system as they complete their traditional coursework. Most of this population is viewed as healthy since their joints and skeletal systems have yet to be subjected to the levels of wear and tear of their elder constituents. However, there are still individuals within this population that often report experiencing some level of joint pain or discomfort that would not fall underneath the classic diagnoses of arthritis or other severe joint-related pathologies. The purpose of this descriptive study was to examine joint pain in non-clinical college students and some of the potential contributions to that pain. An email was sent to the entire current student population at a southeastern university in the United States inviting them to complete an online questionnaire about joint pain. Prior to its distribution, a pilot version of the questionnaire was distributed and tested to ensure readability and to establish content validity. The final version of the questionnaire was distributed twice during the fall 2021 semester. From the total number of students who may have received the email invitation (n = 18,985), 211 students completed the survey for a response rate of 1.11%. Of the 116 respondents who had never seen a healthcare professional for a joint injury or joint surgery, 72 reported current joint pain (62%). Thirty participants (47.6%) reported that the duration of their pain has lasted longer than three months. Participants reported cervical pain (76%), lumbar spine pain (84.8%), knee pain (65.1%), and hip or pelvis pain (76.2%) as the most frequent joints being affected. While typically considered healthy, college students are experiencing joint health-related pain and discomfort. Due to lack of past and current research on joint health in college students, the results of this exploratory study may begin to shed light on the need to implement and fund more proactive methods to best address this emerging issue.
Podsen, Stephen B.; Fordham, Sabrina R.; Jakiel, Andrew J.; and Hipp, G Ryan
"An Exploratory Survey of Self-Reported Joint Pain Among College Students,"
Topics in Exercise Science and Kinesiology: Vol. 4:
1, Article 13.
Available at: https://digitalscholarship.unlv.edu/scholarship_kin/vol4/iss1/13