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Who is Most at Risk for Back Pain?

Jun 21, 2015

Standing, walking, bending, and twisting are just a few of the movements you rely on your back to perform a countless number of times each day. Dealing with even the slightest back pain can be especially frustrating when it disrupts your normal routine. While back pain is one of the most common issues people deal with today, some people are at greater risk than others.

Continue reading to learn more about some of the risk factors for back pain.


Back pain is more common as you get older, starting around the age of 30 or 40. Because the back is used for most daily functions, wear and tear over time can result in conditions that cause neck and back pain such as disc degeneration and spinal stenosis. People between the ages of 30 and 60 are most likely to have disorders related to spinal discs, while those over the age of 60 are more likely to have back pain caused by osteoarthritis.


Jobs that require an extensive amount of bending and/or lifting also have a high rate of back injury. Jobs requiring constant standing without a break or long hours sitting in a desk chair also put the individual at a greater risk for back pain. In these positions, the back is not being supported correctly and can age more quickly over time.

Excess Weight

Being overweight puts stress on many of your joints such as the knees, but it also creates a huge amount of stress on the lower back. The excess weight is constantly pulling at your body which causes your spine to strain as it holds you upright. It can also mean that your muscles are weaker and flexibility is limited. Talk to your doctor if you’re experiencing back pain as a result of excess weight. Together you should be able to come up with a healthy diet and exercise regimen to help you get back on track.

Sedentary Lifestyle

Joints need to be moved frequently in order to stay lubricated. When they are not, they begin aging more quickly. A lack of exercise can increase the risk of lower back pain. Not only will those with a sedentary lifestyle be at higher risk for developing back pain, but the severity of the pain will most likely be greater.


Research shows that spinal disorders typically have a genetic component such as with degenerative disc disease. If you know that a spinal condition runs in your family, be sure to discuss this with your doctor. Being aware of the problem will help you be better prepared and more proactive if you begin experiencing symptoms.

Poor Posture

Slouching and not keeping your spine straight will also increase your risk for back pain. Work on your posture by sitting upright in chairs instead of hunching over your computer or steering wheel.
If you believe you’re at high risk for developing back pain, talk to a doctor about your options that could include medication, physical therapy, or setting up a workout regimen. They will help you create a plan that will allow you to deal with the pain as it comes.

In some cases, surgery may be your best option. If you’re considering back surgery, download our e-book, The Patient’s Manual to Spine and Back Surgery.