Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

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Combinations of Factors Can Increase Risks for Low Back Pain

What triggered my low back pain (LBP)? Simple question--complicated answer. Studies have found several factors that raise the risk of developing LBP. Known risk factors include:

  • previous episodes of back pain

  • injuries

  • smoking

  • sedentary work.

  • poor social support

  • lack of social confidence

  • work that involves whole-body vibrations

  • dealing with heavy loads at work

  • low education levels

  • low off-work exercise levels

  • low levels of influence over work conditions

  • high demands during off-work time

  • high amounts of overtime work

  • work with a high risk of accidents

  • social disturbances at work

  • technical disturbances at work.

This new study looked at all these factors over a period of 24 years in people with LBP. Researchers found that a combination of some of these risk factors made the overall risk for LBP significantly higher.

For men, the risks of LBP were excessively high when they dealt with heavy loads at work, had many demands outside of work, did sedentary work, or had a combination of poor social relationships and lots of overtime work.

Women were at especially high risk for LBP when they worked with heavy loads, did sedentary work, smoked, or had a combination of work that involved whole-body vibrations and a lack of influence over work conditions.

Carina Thorbjornsson, M Soc Sc, et al. Physical and Psychosocial Factors Related to Low Back Pain During a 24-Year Period. In Spine. February 1, 2000. Vol. 25. No. 3. Pp. 369-375.


*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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