10 Facts About Back Pain You Probably Didn't Know

If you find yourself wincing in discomfort each time you sit down or spend sleepless nights wrestling with relentless lower back pain, you are far from alone. In recognition of National Pain Awareness Month, we're focusing our attention on a shared struggle for many — back pain. 

Back pain, and low back pain in particular, is a healthcare issue that impacts countless individuals globally. By understanding these back pain facts, you can gain insights into your own unique situation and find ways to improve your well-being and comfort.

1. Over 540 Million Globally Experience Back Pain

Back pain affects over a staggering 540 million people globally, underscoring the universal prevalence of this musculoskeletal discomfort. More than a minor discomfort, back pain can have far-reaching impacts on an individual and collective level.

2. Lower Back Pain Is the Most Common Kind of Back Pain

In the United States, eight out of ten people will experience back problems at some point, reflecting the alarming pervasiveness of this condition. When we look at global statistics, we find that 7.5% of individuals worldwide are dealing specifically with lower back pain, making it the most common form of back pain

These figures underscore the fact that lower back pain — with causes as varied as poor posture to heavy lifting leading or tissue damage to degeneration in the lumbar region — is indeed the most common kind of back pain.

3. About 40% of Office Workers Deal With Back Pain

Back pain's onset is often linked to our work environment, particularly for those who work in an office rather than on their feet. 

Remarkably, about 40% of individuals in such roles report lower back pain, often triggered by prolonged sitting. In fact, 54% of Americans who experience back pain spend the majority of their workday sitting, a lifestyle that can trigger the nerve-dense pain-spasm-pain cycle affecting not just the spine but extending to the hips and sacroiliac joints. 

Research suggests that better-designed workspaces (standing desks and proper screen height) can help prevent up to one-third of these cases.

4. Back Pain Costs the American Economy $635 Billion Annually

Beyond the physical discomfort, back pain presents a significant economic and public health challenge, costing the American economy a colossal $635 billion annually. As lower back pain disrupts work and daily activities, it accounts for 2.6 million emergency room visits in the US annually, putting added strain on the healthcare system.

5. Nearly Half of Seniors Suffer from Back Pain

The risk of chronic low back pain heightens with age. In the U.S., around six million older adults live with this discomfort. 

A recent survey showed nearly 46% of adults aged 65 and older experienced back pain in the past three months, often due to natural physiological changes such as disc degeneration and increased stiffness. This correlation underlines the need for focused care and support for our older population.

6. Chronic Back Pain Disrupts Sleep

Sleep and pain have a closely intertwined relationship. There is an average of 42 minutes of sleep debt every night when people suffer from chronic pain, including chronic back pain. These statistics highlight the significance of sleep's restorative functions for our bodies and its crucial role in pain management.

Adequate, quality sleep helps our muscles relax and eliminate lactic acid buildup, providing relief and recovery from the day's physical exertion. However, chronic back pain can interrupt this cycle, leading to poor sleep, exacerbating back pain symptoms, and creating a continuous, troublesome cycle.

7. Back Pain Is a Leading Cause of Global Disability

Back pain is more than just discomfort; it can lead to substantial disability. A range of data suggests that back pain is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. 

This troubling fact further emphasizes back pain's vast public health implications, underscoring the urgent need for effective solutions that maintain and support health.

8. A Weak Core Is a Common Back Pain Culprit

Physiologically, a lack of core strength is a prevalent contributor to back pain and one of the most common reasons for back discomfort. A robust and engaged core provides the necessary support for the lumbar region, reducing the strain on the lower back. Regular physical activity targeting the core muscles, therefore, can prove beneficial in mitigating the risk of back pain.

9. The Majority of Back Pain Is Mechanical

Most back pain cases aren't caused by severe medical conditions. Instead, low back pain is more commonly the result of mechanical or non-organic causes. 

Pain typically originates from issues with back components like the spine, muscles, ligaments, and nerve roots. This knowledge aids in understanding back pain better and identifying suitable back pain treatment options.

10. Back Pain Can Impact Our Mental Health

Chronic back pain doesn't only affect our physical well-being; it can also weigh heavily on our mental health. The constant discomfort can lead to feelings of isolation. Reach out to healthcare professionals, find supportive communities, and practice self-care activities, such as mindfulness and relaxation exercises. 

Remember, your mental health matters just as much as your physical health in your journey toward pain management.

Incrediwear - A Tool for Back Pain Prevention and Relief

Prevention and effective pain management are crucial for back pain, encompassing a healthy lifestyle, proper posture, and physical activity. Tools like the Incrediwear Back Brace, embedded with semiconductor elements to maintain healthy blood flow, support a healthy musculoskeletal system, and provide relief.

Our Back Brace aims to soothe discomfort and support natural healing capabilities. Supporting the lower back aids posture and helps soothe flare-ups, making it a practical tool for proactive back health management.

Of course, if back pain is severe or consistent, it is important to speak with a health professional. Depending on the cause of back pain, your doctor may suggest physical therapy, chiropractic care, or acupuncture or refer you to an orthopedic surgeon for further support.

Take Charge of Your Back Health With Incrediwear 

Back pain affects a significant global population and is a leading cause of disability. Yet we can reduce back pain risk by understanding common causes such as poor posture or lack of core strength and adopting prevention measures such as using tools like the Incrediwear Back Brace.

Back pain is common, but it doesn't have to be inevitable. This National Pain Awareness Month, let's empower ourselves with knowledge and supportive tools to help keep back pain from hindering our active lives. Let's use our understanding of back pain to take charge of our health.


Back pain: how to live with one of the world’s biggest health problems | The Guardian

Global low back pain prevalence and years lived with disability from 1990 to 2017: estimates from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017 | PMC

Workplace sitting is associated with self-reported general health and back/neck pain | BMC Public Health

Monitor height ergonomics: A comparison of operating room video display terminals | PMC

The Economic Costs of Pain in the United States - Relieving Pain in America - NCBI Bookshelf

Back to basics: 10 facts every person should know about back pain | EMJ Journals

Why a Strong Core Can Help Reduce Low Back Pain | Cleveland Clinic

Psychiatry.org - Chronic Pain and Mental Health Often Interconnected | American Psychiatry Association

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