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Back Pain – Disease

Back pain is an extremely common condition. Up to 80% of individuals will experience back pain at some time during their lives. The vast majority of patients with back pain will recover within 6 or so weeks, while a small number will go on to develop long-term pain, other symptoms or problems with function. Back pain is one of the leading reasons for a patient to visit a doctor but the underlying cause of the pain is not always obvious.
Men:Research has shown that approximately 7/10 men will experience back pain at some time in their lives. For the majority of men, there will be no apparent cause or injury and only 2/10 men can identify a particular injury, event or accident to be the cause of the pain. Physicians themselves may have difficulty illiciting the cause of the back pain also.
Women: Back pain is slightly more common in women than men. A survey of the point prevalence of back pain in workers showed that approximately half of women sufferred recurrent back pain. However, women were less likely to take time off work or to speak to their employer about the pain. Women can suffer back pain from menstruation, pregnancy, arthritis and osteoporosis (thinning of the bones). Studies have shown that around 80% of women suffer back pain during pregnancy. If women experience back pain during mentruation at a young age, they may become used to back pain and not immediately seek medical advice.
Children: Back pain in children is considered more serious than that in adults. Pain in young children (particularly those under 4 years of age) is more likely to result from a serious underlying disorder. All back pain in children should be considered as serious. If your child has back pain for several days or pain that worsens, medical advice should be sought. This allows early identification of the problem to avoid progression and long-term complications.

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