Who Is Affected by Low Back Pain
Back pain is very common in adults. Most adults have low back pain at some point in their lives.
- Low back pain is age-related. It generally begins to affect people in their 30s to 50s.
- Low back pain is a common cause of work-related limited activity in people younger than 45.1 (It can also cause disability in people older than 45.)
- Low back pain is not common before adolescence, although spinal injuries can occur.
- Low back pain may be more common in men and in people who:
- Frequently lift heavy objects or children.
- Are in poor physical condition.
- Low back pain may be more likely in people who:2
Being involved in workers' compensation issues or lawsuits can delay recovery from low back pain.
Fortunately, 90% of people with low back pain recover within 6 weeks, and up to 95% recover within 12 weeks. Over 98% recover within 1 year.3
Deyo RA, Weinstein JN (2001). Low back pain. New England Journal of Medicine, 344(5): 363–370.
Wise C (2005). Back pain and common musculoskeletal problems. In DC Dale, DD Federman, eds., Scientific American Medicine, section 15, chap. 12. New York: WebMD.
Carragee EJ, Hannibal M (2004). Diagnostic evaluation of low back pain. Orthopedic Clinics of North America, 35(2004): 7–16.
|Primary Medical Reviewer||William M. Green, MD - Emergency Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||Robert B. Keller, MD - Orthopedics|
|Last Revised||February 4, 2010|