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Facts on Back Pain

  • An estimated 75 to 85 percent of all Americans will experience some form of back pain during their lifetime.
  • Lumbar (lower back) muscle strains and sprains are the most common causes of low back pain. The back is prone to this strain because of its weight-bearing function and involvement in moving, twisting and bending.
  • Low back pain is the number-two reason that Americans see their doctor -- second only to colds and flu.
  • The first attack of low back pain typically occurs between the ages of 30 and 40. Back pain becomes more common with age.
  • Although low back pain can be quite debilitating and painful, in about 90 percent of all cases, pain improves without surgery.
  • 50 percent of all patients who suffer from an episode of low back pain will have a recurrent episode within one year.
  • Americans spend at least $50 billion each year on low back pain, the most common cause of job-related disability and a leading contributor to missed work

Above content provided by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the National Institutes of Health in partnership with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
For advice about your medical care, consult your doctor.

Contact Information

Spine Center
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Shapiro Clinical Center, Second Floor
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
617-754-9000
spinecenter@bidmc.harvard.edu

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