Will your back pain become chronic?

A new study from the journal Spine finds that patients with acute low-back pain frequently develop chronic symptoms.

Acute low-back pain can result from lifting something incorrectly or straining ligaments and muscles in the back. It is often characterized as a temporary episode of pain that will resolve itself in under 90 days.

In this new study, researchers worked with 605 acute low-back pain patients. After six months, 13% of patients still had back pain. After two years, 19% had developed chronic symptoms. Even patients without persistent symptoms still experienced occasional episodes of pain.

In another recent study, 73% of patients reported recurring acute low-back pain and the majority said their symptoms worsened with each episode.

This research means that you shouldn’t ignore an episode of back pain, because it might be the beginning of a chronic problem.

Fortunately, studies show that chiropractic is an effective way to prevent back pain from worsening or recurring. Your chiropractor can treat your current episode of pain and help prevent it from becoming a chronic condition.

If you suffer from back pain, call our office today to see if chiropractic can help.


Donelson R, McIntosh G, Hall H. Is it time to rethink the typical course of low-back pain?. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2012; doi:10.1016/j.pmrj.2011.10.015.(In press, corrected proof version).

Mehling WE, Gopisetty V, Bartmess E et al. The Prognosis of Acute Low Back Pain in Primary Care in the United States: A 2-Year Prospective Cohort Study. Spine 2012; 37(8): 678–684.