According to most scientific studies, low back pain is the most common cause of job-related disability. At least 80 percent of Americans will experience low back pain in their lifetime. Historically, low back pain is the most common reason individuals miss workdays.
Most low back pain is the result of an injury, such as muscle sprains or strains due to sudden movements or poor body mechanics while lifting heavy objects, but can also be caused by a ruptured or herniated disc, arthritis in the individual joints of the spine, infections, or cancer.
Acute back pain can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, while chronic back pain is pain that lasts longer than three months. Low back pain is more likely to occur in individuals between the ages of 30 and 50. This is partly due to the changes that occur in the body with aging. As you grow older, there’s a reduction in the fluid content between the vertebrae in the spine causing the discs to undergo inflammatory changes and irritation. You also lose some muscle tone, which makes the back more prone to injury. This is why strengthening your back muscles and using good body mechanics are helpful in preventing low back pain.