Low Back Pain: Why Is It So Common?

Low Back Pain: Why Is It So Common? This question has plagued all of us, including researchers for a long time!  Could it be because we’re all inherently lazy and don’t exercise enough? Or maybe it’s because we have a job that’s too demanding on our back?  To properly address this question, here are some interesting facts:

The prevalence of low back pain (LBP) is common, as 70-85% of ALL PEOPLE have back pain that requires treatment of some sort at some time in life.

  1. On a yearly basis, the annual prevalence of back pain averages 30% and once you have back pain, the likelihood of recurrence is high.
  2. Back pain is the most common cause of activity limitation in people less than 45 years of age.
  3. Back pain is the 2nd most frequent reason for physician visits, the 5th ranking reason for hospital admissions, and is the 3rd most common cause for surgical procedures.
  4. About 2% of theUSworkforce receives compensation for back injuries annually.
  5. Similar statistics exist for other countries, including the UK and Sweden.

So, what are the common links as to why back pain is so common?

One reason has to do with the biomechanics of the biped – that is, the two legged animal. When compared to the 4-legged species, the vertically loaded spine carries more weight in the low back, shows disk and joint deterioration and/or arthritis much sooner, and we overload the back more frequently because, well, we can! We have 2 free arms to lift and carry items that often weigh way too much for our back to be able to safely handle. We also lift and carry using poor technique. Another reason is anatomical as the blood supply to our disks is poor at best, and becomes virtually non-existent after age 30.  That makes healing of disk tears or cracks nearly impossible. Risk factors for increased back injury include heavy manual lifting requirements, poor or low control of the work environment, and prior incidence of low back pain.

Other risk factors include psychosocial issues such as fear of injury, beliefs that pain means one should not work, beliefs that treatment or time will not help resolve a back episode, the inability to control the condition, high anxiety and/or depression levels, and more.  Because there are so many reasons back problems exist, since the early 1990’s, it has been strongly encouraged that we as health care providers utilize a “biopsychosocial model” of managing those suffering with low back pain, which requires not only treatment but proper patient education putting to rest unnecessary fears about back pain.

This article is posted courtesy of and with permission of Altadonna Communications, Inc.


Dr. Walter Salubro’s Comments

Low back pain is one the most common conditions that brings people to our office, Back To Health Chiropractic Centre, in Maple, Vaughan.  Many of our patients that had low back pain have improved dramatically.  Our goal is to alleviate pain, improve back and spinal function, improve posture and improve range of motion.  We also provide education and instructions for proper lifting and core stability.  While being pain-free is important, what drives us at Back To Health Chiropractic Centre is helping to improve the quality of life for our patients.  Let me illustrate this with this patient case.

Today, I did a re-assessment on one of my patients.  When he first came to our office, he came in with low back pain as his primary problem and said he had suffered with low back pain for 20 years.  After starting chiropractic care, he realized this is the first time in 20 years he had no back pain.  The next thing he said was, “and I want to keep it this way.”  When I asked him why it is important for him to “keep it this way” he responded “because I want to continue exercising.  When I have low back pain, I can’t exercise.”

People want a great quality of life with no hindrance.  Back pain is a major hindrance when it occurs and it stops people from doing what is important to them.  Chiropractic care not only helps people with pain relief, it also helps with restoring bodily function and helping people regain their quality of life.

Chiropractic has helped many people overcome problems with low back pain.  Look out for future blog posts here for more articles on low back pain and chiropractic.  If you are having low back pain, be sure to seek out a consultation from a chiropractor in your community.  Chiropractic may be the answer you are looking for.  If you live in the Maple, Vaughan community, call us at (905) 303-1009 to see how chiropractic can help you.