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There is no single cause of back pain, although many clinicians approach problems from a "mechanical" perspective (i.e., the spine or muscles around the spine aren't functioning properly, which causes the pain).

However, evidence suggests that a number of factors, including exercise, may be involved in the development of low back pain (LBP).

In a study designed to evaluate the short-term risk factors for new episodes of LBP, more than 2,500 adults (18-75 years old) completed a survey that gathered data on height, weight, nonoccupational physical activities (i.e., cycling, gardening, walking, etc.) and overall health.

All subjects were free of current back pain; new episodes of LBP were documented in the 12 months following the survey. Self-reported poor general health (men and women) and being overweight (women only) proved to be the strongest predictors of low back pain. Overall, 34% of men and 37% of women reported new episodes of low back pain during the study period.

And the moral to this story? Good health is more than just "fixing something when it¹s broken"; it¹s more than a single workout or a nutritious meal. If you¹re interested in a comprehensive approach to health and wellness, make an appointment with a doctor of chiropractic.


Croft PR, Papageorgiou AC, Thomas E, et al. Short-term physical risk factors for new episodes of low back pain. Spine, August 1, 1999: Vol. 24, No. 15, pp1556-1561.

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