Who Gets Back Pain?

Back pain is the most common chronic musculoskeletal pain. Studies show that low back pain accounts for about 50% of all reported pain, and neck pain accounts for another 20%. Each year, an estimated 550 million workdays are lost because of pain with over $60 billion in lost productivity.


Back and neck pain occurs in all age groups. A surprising number of individuals ages 20 to 30 incur back or neck pain. This may be because previously active people start to work at sedentary jobs; their muscles lose some of their tone and flexibility and they become more injury prone.

The greatest number of injuries occurs in individuals ages 30 to 40, when people continue to do their normal activities and as the aging process begins to show. An individual’s spine normally deteriorates slowly and almost inconspicuously with age. Most of an individual’s muscular pain is due to injury even before he or she experiences back or neck pain due to the aging process. Back pain and injury is not limited to a specific type or group of people. An individual can have back problems if he or she works all day at a blue-collar job, or if he or she sits all day at a desk.

Risk factors that you can’t change

  •  Hereditary
  • Family history
  • Age

Risk factors that you can change

Although it is hard to predict when, where, and who will get back pain, some common factors have some bearing on an individual having this problem.

  • Poor posture and body mechanics
  • Weak, inflexible muscles
  • Stress
  • Obesity
  • Diet
  • Occupational/job-related risk factors
  • Repetitive bending, lifting, or twisting
  • Extensive vibration exposure
  • Work dissatisfaction
  • Prolonged sitting or standing
  • Prolonged driving

Source: Prairie Spine and Pain Institute, Dr. Richard A. Kube II, MD.

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