Misplacing the Blame for Back Pain

“People suffering from lower back pain often think a specific moment of extreme exertion triggered their sudden discomfort, even though simple daily tasks can just as easily contribute,” writes Fox News.

“When researchers asked 999 adults what caused their back problems, about two thirds blamed a specific experience on the day their pain surfaced. Because triggers for lower back pain can occur days or even weeks or months before the sudden onset of discomfort, however, it’s likely that many patients misplaced blame, said Dr. Scott Forseen, a back pain researcher at Georgia Regents University in Augusta.”

“Among the common triggers for lower back pain researchers asked about were lifting heavy or hard to grasp loads, vigorous exercise, sex, fatigue or drinking alcohol. Participants also specified whether exposure to the trigger was immediately before the pain started or within the previous 24 hours. Typically, the participants had around six previous episodes of lower back pain. Patients said the current flare up generally lasted about five days, including more than two days of reduced activity due to pain.”

“Knowing the specific root of a medical problem is important when it will impact treatment… But with back pain, pinpointing the culprit doesn’t make treatment more effective… Most people will get the same benefit from pain medication, activity recommendations and education about how to manage the episode whether or not doctors know what caused the pain.”