Back Pain Health Center

Back pain and other forms of chronic pain affect millions of American adults every year. Pain from arthritis, back problems, musculoskeletal conditions and headaches costs US businesses more than $61 billion a year in lost worker productivity. In a three-month period, about one fourth of US adults experience one day of back pain. It is one of the biggest medical problems affecting people today.

Back pain can be divided into two different forms: acute and chronic back pain. Acute back pain often results from injury and comes on quickly while leaving just as quickly. This type of pain may result from falling from a ladder, being tackled on the football field or lifting a load that is too heavy and should last no longer than six weeks.

Chronic back pain may arrive quickly or slowly and remains for a long period of time. Pain that lasts longer than three months is considered chronic. While chronic back pain is less common than acute back pain, it can be more debilitating.

Causes of back pain can range from various injuries and accidents to genetics or even some diseases like fibromyalgia and conditions like scoliosis.

Review Date: 
August 6, 2012
Last Updated:
December 13, 2013