Low back pain risk factors

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Low back pain Microchapters





Differentiating Low back pain from other Diseases

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Risk Factors

Natural History, Complications and Prognosis


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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

Risk Factors

Nearly everyone has low back pain sometime. Men and women are equally affected. It occurs most often between ages 30 and 50, due in part to the aging process but also as a result of sedentary life styles with too little (sometimes punctuated by too much) exercise. While the risk of experiencing low back pain from disc disease or spinal degeneration increases with age after age 50 degenerative disc disease is less likely to be the cause. It is important not to assume that low back pain is due to disk disease simply because it is present on X ray or MRI as these findings are quite common in those without back pain as well.

Low back pain unrelated to injury or other known cause is unusual in pre- teen children. However, a backpack overloaded with schoolbooks and supplies can quickly strain the back and cause muscle fatigue. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that more than 13,260 injuries related to backpacks were treated at doctors’ offices, clinics, and emergency rooms in the year 2000. To avoid back strain, children carrying backpacks should bend both knees when lifting heavy packs, visit their locker or desk between classes to lighten loads or replace books, or purchase a backpack or airline tote on wheels.

One is also at risk for low back pain in case of:

  • Pregnancy
  • Stress or depression
  • Arthritis or osteoporosis
  • Smoking
  • Overweight
  • Job that requires heavy lifting, a lot of bending and twisting, or whole body vibration (such as truck driving or using a sandblaster)


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