Back Pain Can Increase Your Risk of Early Death, Research Says

Backache is a serious concern. Factors such as obesity, poor posture, age, sedentary lifestyle and weight gain all add to the risk of having back pain. The culprit stands behind several numerous missed days at work and severe disability.

Statistics show that about 80% of the adults suffer from back pain at least once in their lifetime. Furthermore, the American Chiropractic Association ranks backaches as the third most common reason behind visiting doctors.

Is Back Pain Linked with Mortality?

The latest research shows that back pain has an association with mortality. The findings are published in The Journal of General Internal Medicine. It was conducted by researchers in the Boston Medical Center in Massachusetts who wanted to learn about the effect of back pain on our life.

Consequently, the study followed a participant pool of 8,000 women for 14 years on average. Baseline measurements were followed up after every two years, where, the participants were asked to observe their daily activities.

The analysis showed that meal preparation and walking short distances contributed to 50% of the effect of chronic pain on mortality. Similarly, walking speed chipped in 27% in this regard and repetitive standing up explained 24% of the impact of back pain on mortality.

An interesting thing was that more than 50% of the participants died during the follow-up period. The researchers added that roughly 65% of the women with frequent back pain died in contrast with 54% of the participants without back pain.

Therefore, the study concluded that backaches are linked to high mortality. Eric Roseen, lead of the study elaborated on this. He highlighted that a backache impairs a person’s ability to do daily activities. This is particularly true for older adults who are also at an increased risk of worsening of symptoms and re-injury.

So, Rossen, explained, “Being unable to perform, or avoiding, daily activities could lead to weight gain, development or progression of other chronic health conditions, and ultimately earlier death.”

Back Pain and Associated Problems

In general, back pain can not only reach a finale of early death but the chronic pain can also be linked with other health condition. These include ruptured or bulging disks, arthritis, osteoporosis, muscle or ligament strain, and skeletal irregularities.

Summing up, you need to be careful and take all the steps that can help keep backaches at bay. Acute back pain may only last for a few days but 20% of the cases go on to develop chronic pain. Therefore, you need to take measures such as increased physical activity to prevent back pain.

The Mayo Clinic warns that you should seek immediate assistance from a professional if your backache comes after a blow to the back, a fall or any other injury. Similarly, don’t delay action if your backache comes with fever or causes new bladder or bowel problems.

In general, contact a doctor if the pain does not get better with rest, extends down one or both legs, or causes numbness, weakness, or tingling in one or both legs.