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Back pain in the U.S. - Statistics & Facts

Back pain is one of the most common types of pain among adults in the United States. Such pain can be caused by strained muscles or ligaments, excess weight, poor posture, psychological problems, or every day activities. A Statista survey found that 29 percent of U.S. adults with back problems believed stress was the cause of their pain, while 26 percent blamed weak muscles or a lack of exercise, and another 26 percent blamed physical work.

Who is most likely to have back pain?

In 2019, around 39 percent of adults in the United States stated they had experienced back pain within the past three months. Back pain is more common among older adults and non-Hispanic whites are more likely to report back pain than any other race or ethnicity. Interestingly, those with lower family incomes are also more likely to report back pain than those with higher incomes, perhaps due to differing lifestyle habits, occupations, and health care access.

Back pain treatment

According to Statista, the most common techniques to relieve back pain were the use of painkillers, physical rest, and doing specific back exercises at home. If at-home relief measures do not help back pain and it persists or becomes worse, many people seek professional help. As of 2017, around 58 percent of adults with back pain had sought medical treatment in the past year for their pain. A medical doctor was the most common type of professional sought, but 14 percent of those who went to a medical professional for treatment visited a chiropractor. Around 22 percent of U.S. adults believe that chiropractic care can provide pain relief, however 19 percent do not feel there are any benefits of such treatment.

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