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Backaches often begin at work, survey reports

November 22, 2004
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About one in six U.S. adults (16 percent) suffered from back pain every day during the past month, according to a recent national survey.

People suffering from back pain are dealing with the issue an average of 14 days per month and often don't seek the advice of trained professionals to treat or improve their condition, according to the survey of 1,014 U.S. adults sponsored by the North American Spine Society.

According to NASS, 80 percent of adults will suffer from back pain at some point during their lives.

Other survey findings:

  • Nearly one-third (31 percent) of U.S. adults who have experienced back pain in the past month have difficulty lying in bed, and more than one in five adults (22 percent) find it uncomfortable to drive their cars. Another 18 percent have a decreased sexual activity due to their back pain.

  • More than one-fourth of back pain sufferers (26 percent) claim that they are no longer able to engage in vigorous physical exercise. Almost one-third of U.S. adults (32 percent) say they are unable to lift heavy objects due to back pain.

  • More than one in four adults (26 percent) attributed aging or getting older as the main cause of their back pain.

  • Sixteen percent of U.S. adults began suffering with back pain after a workplace-related injury, and another 14 percent injured their backs from a sports- or exercise-related incident.
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