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Back problems are a range of conditions related to the bones, joints, connective tissue, muscles and nerves of the back. Back problems are a significant cause of disability and lost productivity.

Additional resources for back problems (including factsheets and PowerPoint slides).

This information was last updated in May 2015.

graphic for 1 in 7 Australians have back problems

1 in 7

Australians (14%) reported back problems in 2011-12. That's 3 million people.

graphic for 2 in 5 people have back problems

Over 2 in 5

people with back problems (44% or 495,000) reported some level of activity limitation in 2009—that is, they had difficulty in tasks and activities associated with mobility, communication or self-care.

Dashboard graphic showing global burden of disease

Burden of back pain

According to the Global Burden of Disease estimates, low back pain is ranked first in Australasia (including Australia and New Zealand), compared to sixth in the world.