Facts on Back Pain


Approximately eight out of every ten people will experience back pain at some point in their lives. Within the past three months alone, nearly one-quarter of adults in the United States reported experiencing low back pain for at least one whole day. Approximately 7.6% of people claim to have had at least one episode of severe acute low back pain within the last year.

By the Numbers

According to a National Institutes of Health statistics study, participants who were asked if they had experienced low back pain, neck pain or a severe headache or a migraine in the past three months stated that low back pain was the most prominent at 27.5%. A severe headache or a migraine was next at 14.2%, and 13.9% or participants reported having neck pain.

Digging into the Research

Research shows that people who have pain in their lower back are in worse physical and mental condition that individuals who are not in pain. Approximately 28% of individuals with low back pain reported that they have limited activity due to their pain while only 10% of people without pain report being physically inactive. Additionally, those who experience chronic low back pain were three times more likely to be in poor health and four times more likely to have severe psychological stress than those without pain.

People who have smoked within the past year are more likely to experience low back pain, according to cross-sectional studies. They are also more liable to be seeking care for their low back pain and are at higher risks of experiencing disabling chronic low back pain. People who have smoked in the past but no longer do also have an increased risk of developing low back pain when compared with individuals who have never smoked.

A Recent Study Reports

Lastly, one study found that approximately 58.7% of people with low back pain also experience sleep disturbance at night. The study found that sleep disturbance was dependent on the intensity of pain. Individuals who reported a one-point increase of pain on a scale of one to ten experienced a 10% growth in sleep disturbance.