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Lower back pain - Are you at risk?

April 29, 2015

Back pain is one of the most common complaints our patients present to us with.

If you manage to get through life without ever having an episode of back pain, you are definitely one of the lucky ones. Fortunately the vast majority of people suffering from back pain will see an improvement in their condition within 3 months from the initial onset of pain.



There are a number of key risk factors which are associated with lower back pain. Some of these factors we have control over such as occupation and lifestyle choices. Other factors such as age and gender are absolutely outside of our control.

  • Age
    For both men and women, the risk of lower back pain gradually increases with age up until about 50 years.After you hit 50 it gets interesting. Relative risk decreases in men but continues to increase for women.

  • Gender
    Some studies show that women who have given birth to two or more children are at a higher risk of LBP. For this reason we believe that pre and postnatal physical therapy is important for all mothers.

  • Obesity & Height
    Although it may seem to make sense that obesity will put a lot of extra strain on many of your bodies joints, there is limited to show either excess weight or height to be a risk factor in LBP.

  • Posture
    There does not seem to be a marked association between lumbar lordosis and LBP. In addition to this, leg length discrepancies appear to have a very limited association with LBP

  • Physical Work
    If your occupation includes activities such as heavy lifting, bending or twisting you have a higher risk of sustaining a back injury. LPB and sciatica can also be aggravated by tasks that expose you to vibration, such as machinery operation.

  • Sedentary Occupation
    Generally speaking if your job requires you to be either on your feet all day or sitting down all day, you have a higher chance of suffering back pain. For this reason professional drivers have an increased risk of disc herniation.

  • Fitness
    Some evidence shows that good muscular endurance through your back decreases the incidence of lower back pain.

  • Psychological Factors
    Stress, anxiety, and depression are all associated with work related lower back pain. 

If you are suffering from lower back pain, feel free to call us to discuss our treatment options which may be suitable for you.