On the side of Ryan street a couple days back a friend had a lawn chair and was catching beads and picking up candy off the street when he slumped back to his chair whining: 'my back is killing me!' Now this fellow, who works in the plants as a contractor is no senior citizen but certainly no spring chicken either and has a well developed, let's say 'beer gut'.

I said, 'funny you should say that, because I just came across an article the other day about a study that links back pain with early mortality.  He looked up at me with daggers in his eyes indicating I wasn't being helpful at all.

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But it's true, back pain affects about 700 million people around the world and is almost the single cause of disability. Scientists studied 4,390 Danish twins aged over 70 to see if there was a link between back pain and early onset of death. The study found that compared to those without spinal pain inclusive of the low back and neck, a person with spinal pain has a 13% higher chance of dying every year.

Researchers feel this is significant because most of us don't think back pain is life threatening.  By studying twins, the scientists ruled out shared genetic factors as an influence on the result.

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Doctors aren't sure why early mortality can result, other than spinal pain may be a result of poor health and poor functional ability which increases risks in older populations.

The bottom line is this: the best treatment for low back is a healthy lifestyle, including physical activity - or in other words get moving.

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