Facts on Back Pain


An estimated eight out of every ten people will experience back pain at some point in their lives. Back pain is one of the most common reasons people visit a physician. It can be caused by normal wear and tear, overuse, injuries, muscles, bones, nerves, or discs. The most common causes of back pain are muscular irritation and joint dysfunction.

Below are 14 facts about back pain.

  1. Hunching over can be harmful to the back; however, sitting straight for too long can cause back strain.
  2. The amount of weight lifted is not as important as using the legs to push up when lifting.
  3. Mattresses that are too firm place more pressure on the hips and shoulders. Mattresses that are too soft lack support for the back, hips and shoulders.
  4. The majority of back pain develops over time and is associated with repetitive actions or bad posture.
  5. Bed rest should be limited to one or two days for back pain. Excessive bed rest can result in loss of muscles.
  6. Physical activities focused on strengthening the stomach and back muscles can lessen the likelihood of developing back pain.
  7. No matter the cause, back pain can range from mild to severe.
  8. Extra weight places additional stress on the back.
  9. Genetics can play a role in back pain.
  10. Heat should be avoided the first two or three days following a back injury. Instead, ice therapy should be used 20 minutes at a time to reduce inflammation.
  11. Spine surgery is rarely suggested, and only after other treatment options fail to provide relief.
  12. The cause of back pain can be complex; therefore, a spine specialist may need to be consulted.
  13. Spinal manipulation, yoga, progressive muscle relaxation, and massage therapy can sometimes ease back pain.
  14. An estimated 43% of those with back pain experience mild to severe insomnia.