Is back pain killing us?

Friday, 24th February, 2017

KILLER PAIN - Back pain may be linked to an increased chance of death.

OLDER people suffering from back pain have an increased chance of dying from any cause, shows new University of Sydney research.

The study found participants with spinal pain had a 13 per cent higher chance of death every year compared to those without.

"This is a significant finding as many people think that back pain is not life-threatening," said senior author Paulo Ferreira said.

"These findings warrant further investigation because while there is a clear link between back pain and mortality we don't know yet why this is so.

"Spinal pain may be part of a pattern of poor health and poor functional ability, which increases poor mortality risk in the older population," Associate Professor Ferreira said.

The study looked at 4390 Danish twins aged over 70 to investigate the link between spinal pain and mortality.

The European Journal of Pain published the study results.

Back pain affects about 700 million people worldwide, including 600,000 older Australians.

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