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How Many People Suffer from Back Pain?

If you talk about your back pain in a room full of people you’re bound to hear a lot of stories about other people’s back pain. Is back pain really as common as it seems? Let’s take a look.

What Percent of the Population Suffers from Back Pain?

According to this 2007 article about the sources of back pain, Rubin DI estimates that:

“15% to 20% of adults have back pain during a single year and 50% to 80% experience at least one episode of back pain during a lifetime.”

According to the WebMD, almost 80% of people will suffer from back pain at least once during their lifetime.

Back Pain Statistics

Source: http://www.thegoodbody.com/back-pain-statistics/


Most other sources use similar statistics. So, it’s fair to say that roughly 80% of the population has experienced back pain at some point in their lives.

Why Do So Many Suffer from Back Pain?

To understand why such a large percentage of the population suffers from back pain we need to first understand the causes of back pain.


Back pain, for many, is a result of an accident or trauma to the spine. This can be in the form of a car accident, fall or other intense trauma to the body.

Injuries to the spine can also be the result of poor posture or using poor lifting techniques repeatedly. Over time, your spine can be damaged as a result of how you sit, stand and move every day.


Our spine has developed from a structure that supported animals that walk on four legs to what it is today, a supporting structure for humans that walk on two legs. Evolution is a remarkable phenomenon but not perfect – maybe we’re still a work in progress. We make this point not to spark a debate on evolution or our creation but to better understand why such a large percentage of the population may suffer from back problems.

Physical Abnormalities

Individuals that have one leg longer than the other often suffer from back pain as their bodies (and spine) attempt to compensate for the imbalance.

Those born with scoliosis, or abnormalities in the spine’s curvature, can develop pain as a result of their condition.

Degenerative Conditions

In addition to the reasons listed above there are several conditions that can cause back pain. Many of these conditions are a result of wear and tear on the delicate anatomical features of our spine.


So, the way our bodies are structured, conditions we’re born with and how we treat our body each day can all have an impact on our spine and, in turn, can cause back pain. Based on this, is it surprising that so many suffer from back pain?

If you’ve suffered enough, contact Saratoga Spine for an appointment today.

*Please Note: Information on this site or any recommended sites should not be used as a diagnosis or a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.
Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery