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My Back Hurts Too, Eh?

Many studies report how often back pain occurs. If the pain isn't measured the same way in each study, then it's a lot like comparing apples to oranges. Researchers in Canada are trying to set the record straight.

A survey about low back pain was sent to adults in the Saskatchewan province. About eight percent of the adults between 20 and 69 years reported low back pain. The measure was taken over a six-month period of time.

Compared to other similar studies, eight percent is high. New information about back pain reports that there are many factors that cause this problem. These include stress, smoking status, quality of life, and the presence of other diseases or conditions.

In Saskatchewan, back pain was more common in people with previous neck pain. Other factors that increased back pain included living in a rural area, being single, and having previous back pain. This information is important for health planners. Knowing how many new cases of back pain will occur in the next six months is helpful. The next step is to find ways to prevent painful back episodes.


Clemon George, MSc. The Six-Month Incidence of Clinically Significant Low Back Pain in the Saskatchewan Adult Population. In Spine. August 15, 2002. Vol. 27. No. 16. Pp. 1778-1782.

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