Back pain halted with simple lifestyle changes

Healthy lifestyle behaviour — the combination of non-smoking, no risky consumption of alcohol, participating in the recommended level of physical activity and eating the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables — not only benefits cardiovascular health, it also improves outcomes for people who experience low back pain (LBP), according to findings from a new study.

Researchers from Sweden have found that healthy lifestyles can have a positive influence on the progression of occasional LBP to long duration LBP, especially among women.

Compared to women with no healthy lifestyle factors, the risk for developing long duration, troublesome LBP at four-year follow up decreased by 35% among women who adopted one healthy lifestyle factor and by 52% among women with all four factors.

Some 21% of women with no healthy lifestyle factor went on to experience long duration LBP at follow-up compared to only 9% of women with all four factors.