Medical reference
Back pain

Prevalence of back pain

According to statistics, the incidence of back pain reaches 37%, and its maximum prevalence registered at 45-60 years. 80% of people at some point of their life have a need to visit a doctor with back pain. In other words, 8 people out of 10 regularly experience back pain and some suffer from it.

Back Pain Causes

The most common cause of back pain is muscle pain. 80% of people have it, it may occur due to: strain during physical activity, improper posture at work, reactions to emotional stress, muscle injury, shortening of one leg and even because of flatfeet. Often patients suffer from it for a long time, due to the limited effectiveness of traditional treatment methods and lack of understanding of how the pain occurs.

State, mistakenly called “osteochondrosis” is degenerative (age) change of the intervertebral discs, when, due to metabolic disorders, disc loses water and becomes rigid and inelastic. In popular and sometimes in medical literature common misconception exists: main cause of back pain is this “disease.” Therefore, the term “osteochondrosis ” was the most popular diagnosis for patients with back pain and influence on the degenerative process of vertebrae became main treatment for it. In today’s world, pathological changes in the spine are described as “spondylosis.” In the countries of former Soviet Union traditionally term “osteochondrosis ” is used, that causes terminological confusion among professionals and misconceptions about the disease.

There another misconception about “osteochondrosis” that is based on the theory under which cause of back pain is a herniated disc. In fact, only 10% of patients with back pain have irritation of nerve root by disk hernia. Magnetic resonance imaging of healthy people indicates that they can have “dumb” hernia that does not cause pain. In addition, hernia size does not matter. Often there is situation, when person in result of treatment gets rid of pain, but the hernia does not change in size.

Spondylosis is not the primary and essential cause of back pain. Less common, but dangerous causes of back pain are: tumors, rheumatic conditions, infections and diseases of the internal organs.