By Ellen Breslau for HuffPost/50
If it seems like everyone you know, including yourself, has back pain, you actually might be close to the truth.
"If you go on the street and pick a random group of people, 20 percent will say they have back pain right now, 40 percent will have had it in the past year, and 80 percent have had back pain over the course of their lives," says Patrick Roth, M.D., chairman of the department of neurosurgery at New Jersey's Hackensack University Medical Center and author of The End of Back Pain. That's a lot of back pain.
The cause of all the discomfort? For people over 60, back pain often comes from spinal stenosis, or arthritic wear and tear. "As we age, the joints become enlarged and generate pain," says Dr. Roth. But that's not always the case. In many instances, the cause of back pain isn't as clear.