Chiropractors know that many things cause low back pain (LBP),
including various physical, psychological, and personal characteristics.
The effects of work on LBP are often studied; however,
little research has focused on previous experiences causing
LBP later in life. A recent study in the American Journal
of Public Health investigated whether psychological stress
can cause LBP a decade later.
Approximately 600 people in Britain who first suffered back
pain at age 32-33 were compared to over 5,000 others who did
not suffer from back pain. Back-pain information was obtained
twice: from a current questionnaire and another completed
10 years previously. Only those with no LBP at age 23, but
with later onset, were considered. Psychological stress in
patients at age 23 was based on factors including low socioeconomic
status, poor grades in school, behavioral problems, and early
Those who reported stress at age 23 were two-and-a-half times
more likely than their peers to have LBP a decade later. Smoking
a half a pack or more of cigarettes per day throughout the
10 years also increased incidence of LBP. Overall, 10 percent
of people with no back pain when younger reported it 10 years
Many studies have shown that stress leads to back and neck
pain. Even if you arenít dealing with back pain now, minimize
stress as much as possible to avoid future occurrence. Exercise
can aid in stress management. Your doctor of chiropractic
can help outline a stress-management program suitable to your
Power C, Frank J, Hertzman C, et al. Predictors of low back
pain onset in a prospective British study. American Journal
of Public Health 2001:91(10), pp. 1671-1678.
For more information on back pain, check out http://www.chiroweb.com/tyh/backpain.html.