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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.

This information was last updated in December 2016.

graphic for 1 in 6 Australians with back problems

1 in 6

Australians (16%) reported back problems in 2014–15. That's 3.7 million people.

graphic for 4 in 5 have activity limitation

4 in 5

people with disability and back problems (80% or 989,483) reported some level of activity limitation in 2012—that is, they had difficulty in tasks and activities associated with mobility, communication or self-care.

Column chart shows back problems are the 3rd leading cause of burden of disease


leading cause of disease burden in Australia in 2011.