Back pain risk factors

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1] Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Zehra Malik, M.B.B.S[2]


Risk factors for back pain include poor posture, obesity, pregnancy, cancer, weight lifting, psychological stress, smoking, sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise, autoimmune disease, arthritis and trauma.

Risk Factors


  1. Leboeuf-Yde C, Kyvik KO (1998). "At what age does low back pain become a common problem? A study of 29,424 individuals aged 12-41 years". Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 23 (2): 228–34. doi:10.1097/00007632-199801150-00015. PMID 9474731.
  2. Zhang TT, Liu Z, Liu YL, Zhao JJ, Liu DW, Tian QB (2018). "Obesity as a Risk Factor for Low Back Pain: A Meta-Analysis". Clin Spine Surg. 31 (1): 22–27. doi:10.1097/BSD.0000000000000468. PMID 27875413.
  3. Burr J, Shephard R, Cornish S, Vatanparast H, Chilibeck P (2012). "Arthritis, osteoporosis, and low back pain: evidence-based clinical risk assessment for physical activity and exercise clearance". Can Fam Physician. 58 (1): 59–62. PMC 3264014. PMID 22267624.
  4. Vogt MT, Rubin DA, Palermo L, Christianson L, Kang JD, Nevitt MC; et al. (2003). "Lumbar spine listhesis in older African American women". Spine J. 3 (4): 255–61. doi:10.1016/s1529-9430(03)00024-x. PMID 14589183.
  5. Mabry LM, Ross MD, Tonarelli JM (2014). "Metastatic cancer mimicking mechanical low back pain: a case report". J Man Manip Ther. 22 (3): 162–9. doi:10.1179/2042618613Y.0000000056. PMC 4101555. PMID 25125938.
  6. Green BN, Johnson CD, Snodgrass J, Smith M, Dunn AS (2016). "Association Between Smoking and Back Pain in a Cross-Section of Adult Americans". Cureus. 8 (9): e806. doi:10.7759/cureus.806. PMC 5081254. PMID 27790393.
  7. Burton AK, Tillotson KM, Main CJ, Hollis S (1995). "Psychosocial predictors of outcome in acute and subchronic low back trouble". Spine. 20 (6): 722–8. PMID 7604349.
  8. Carragee EJ, Alamin TF, Miller JL, Carragee JM (2005). "Discographic, MRI and psychosocial determinants of low back pain disability and remission: a prospective study in subjects with benign persistent back pain". The spine journal : official journal of the North American Spine Society. 5 (1): 24–35. doi:10.1016/j.spinee.2004.05.250. PMID 15653082.
  9. Hurwitz EL, Morgenstern H, Yu F (2003). "Cross-sectional and longitudinal associations of low-back pain and related disability with psychological distress among patients enrolled in the UCLA Low-Back Pain Study". Journal of clinical epidemiology. 56 (5): 463–71. PMID 12812821.
  10. Dionne CE (2005). "Psychological distress confirmed as predictor of long-term back-related functional limitations in primary care settings". Journal of clinical epidemiology. 58 (7): 714–8. doi:10.1016/j.jclinepi.2004.12.005. PMID 15939223.

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