Back Injury Statistics: What Percentage of Adults Will Suffer a Back Injury?

19 Back Injury Statistics: How Many Back Injuries Occur Each Year?

Back injuries can leave people feeling helpless, isolated and with serious back pain. If you’re suffering, then the stats show you’re not alone!

We’ve done our research and discovered just how common they are, what occupations are at higher risk and the eye-watering cost to society.

Read on for 19 back injury statistics that might surprise you:

Back Injury Statistics (Top Picks)

  • Each year 2 million back injuries occur across the US.
  • 80% of adults suffer a back injury throughout their lifetime.
  • Up to 92% of back injuries are a result of stressful postures in daily life or workplace injuries.
  • 95% of adults with low back pain recover within a few months, with the remaining 5% developing a chronic and disabling condition.
  • Low back pain is one of the leading causes of worldwide disability.
  • More than one million back injuries are sustained in the workplace each year.
  • Across the US, one in five workplace injuries are back-related.
  • US companies lose $225.8 billion each year as a result of back injuries.

2022 Back Injury Statistics

How many back injuries occur each year in the US?

It’s estimated that 2 million back injuries occur annually in the US.

The majority are as a result of stressful postures in everyday life or workplace injuries, with just 8 to 15% thought to occur as a result of direct trauma to the spine such as a fall.

It’s estimated that 2 million back injuries occur annually across America

What percentage of adults will suffer a back injury during their lifetime?

80% of adults are estimated to suffer a back injury during their lifetime.

There are many different causes, see below the top reasons identified by the Mayo Clinic:

  • Muscle or ligament strain
  • Bulging or ruptured disks
  • Arthritis
  • Skeletal irregularities
  • Osteoporosis

What is the most common injury to the back?

Sprains and strains are the most common type of back injury.

This type of injury can happen suddenly after a trauma, or can develop over a period of time, such as through poor posture.

How many people recover from low back pain?

According to research published by the National Library of Medicine, 95% of people with low back pain will recover within a few months.

Some people however are not so lucky…

5% of the population’s low back pain will become chronic and disabling.

Reoccurrence of low back pain is fairly common, ranging from 20-44% within 12 months.

Plus, two previous experiences of low back pain, triple your chances of getting it again in one year.

95% of people with low back pain will recover within a few months

Is back pain a leading cause of disability?

The latest data from the World Health Organization shows that depression is now the leading cause of disability worldwide.

However for a long time, since 1990, low back pain was the worldwide leading cause of disability.

Researchers state personal factors like metabolism, biochemistry, physical factors (a long back), and depressive tendencies have been identified as placing people at higher risk.

They also believe that there are environmental factors to consider such as:

  • Job satisfaction
  • Working with heavy weights
  • Lengthy periods of standing
  • Forward bending
  • Carrying school backpacks

Back Injury Key Statistics:

  • 2 million back injuries occur each year across America.
  • Only 8% to 15% of back injuries are the result of a direct trauma to the spine, such as a fall.
  • Between 85% and 92% of back injuries are a result of stressful postures in everyday life or workplace injuries.
  • 8 in 10 adults suffer a back injury during their lifetime.
  • Straining or spraining your back, is the most common type of back injury.
  • 95% of people with low back pain recover within a few months.
  • 5% of people with low back pain, go on to develop a chronic and disabling condition.
  • Up to 44% of people who successfully treat their low back pain, will have a reoccurrence within 12 months.
  • Suffered two previous episodes of low back pain this year? The chances of getting it again before the year is out are tripled!
  • Low back pain is one of the leading causes of disability.

Sources: Michigan Municipal League | The Good Body | Mayo Clinic | St. Elizabeth Healthcare | National Library of Medicine | Oxford Academic | The Guardian | Springer Link | International Association for The Study of Pain

Back Injuries in the Workplace Statistics

How common are back injuries in the workplace?

More than one million back injuries are sustained in the workplace annually.

More than one million back injuries are sustained in the workplace annually

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a back-related injury accounts for one in every five injuries

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a back-related injury accounts for one in every five injuries and illnesses at work.

They also discovered that 80% of these injuries were to the lower back and, unsurprisingly, 75% of these happened during lifting tasks

How much do back injuries cost American companies?

The latest data published by the international HR & Payroll company IRIS FMP, revealed that across the US, companies lose $225.8 billion annually as a result of employees sustaining back injuries.

This equates, as a cost to employers, of $1,685 per employee each year.

Which group of workers have the highest number of back injuries?

Workers in the healthcare industry sustain 4.5 times more overexertion back injuries than any other type of worker.

US workers who suffered this kind of injury took an average of 12 days to recuperate before returning to work.

A report published by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, found those that work within nursing home environments are most at risk.

Nursing assistants take the most days off work as a result of a back injury

Back Injuries in the Workplace Key Statistics:

  • More than one million back injuries are sustained in the workplace each year.
  • Across the US, 20% of all workplace injuries are back-related.
  • 80% of back-related workplace injuries are to the lower back, with the majority caused by lifting tasks.
  • US companies lose $225.8 billion annually as a result of back injuries.
  • Workers in the healthcare industry sustain nearly five times more back injuries than other types of workers.

Sources: University of Maryland | IRIS FMP | SFM

Want to learn more about the prevalence of pain conditions across the US?

You might be interested in our summary of the latest chronic pain statisticsread it here!

Laura Smith

Author

Laura Smith

Associate Editorial Manager

Specialist health & wellbeing writer, passionate about discovering new technologies & sharing the latest research.