Skip to main content
Past Articles

Incidence and Course of Low Back Pain

A study recently published in Spine examined the typical course and incidence rates of low back pain (lbp) in the general population over a 6 and 12-month period. Their findings revealed the following:

  • 19 percent were experiencing an episode of lbp
  • Most lbp episodes were mild
  • 1 percent developed intense lbp
  • 0.4 percent developed disabling lbp
  • 40 percent of lbp episodes persisted
  • 14 percent had an increased severity of their lbp
  • 36 percent had improvement of their lbp
  • 27 percent had a resolution of their lbp
  • Of those who recovered, 29 percent had a recurrence of lbp within 6 months
  • Lbp episodes tended to be more recurrent and persistent in older adults

Source: Spine. 30(24); December 15, 2005.