19 Harley St, London, W1G 9QJ, UK
We are London's Top Spine Clinic

Back Pain

Back pain, like tooth decay and the common cold, is an affliction that affects a substantial proportion, if
not the entire population, at some point in their lives. Nobody is immune to this condition nor its
potential disability which does not discriminate by gender, age, race or culture. It has become one of the
leading causes of disability in our society and the cost of treatment has been increasing progressively each
year, without any obvious effect on the frequency and severity of the condition. The search for a cure
and the elimination of back pain does not appear to be a viable option at this point in our understanding
of back pain. A reasonable goal, however, is to improve the ability of clinicians to determine the
cause of back pain in a substantial proportion of patients, to identify conditions likely to lead to
serious disability if not treated promptly, to reduce the symptoms of back pain, to increase functional
capacity and to reduce the likelihood of recurrences.


The prevalence of back pain in the adult population varies with age. There are a number of surveys in multiple countries that reveal a point-prevalence of 17–30%, a 1-month prevalence of 19–43% and a lifetime prevalence of 60–80%. The likelihood that an
individual will recall on survey that they have experienced ack pain in their lifetime reaches 80% by
the age of 60 years, and there is some evidence that the remaining 20% have simply forgotten prior
episodes of back pain or considered such episodes as a natural part of life and not worth reporting. At the
age of 40 years, the prevalence is slightly higher in women, while, after the age of 50, it is slightly higher
in men. The majority of these episodes of back pain are mild and short-lived and have very little impact
on daily life. Recurrences are common and one survey found that up to 14% of the adult population
had an episode of back pain each year that lasted 30 days or longer and at some point interfered with
sleep, routine activities or work. Approximately 1% of the population is permanently disabled by back
pain at any given point, with another 1–2% temporarily disabled from their normal occupation.
Children and adolescents are not immune from back pain. Surveys reveal that approximately 5% of all
children have a history of back pain that interferes with activity, with 27% reporting back pain at some time

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What we do...

The Harley Street Hospital


What is London spine unit and How it Works

The London Spine Unit was established in 2005 and has successfully treated over 5000 patients. All conditions are treated.

We treat all spinal disorders

The London Spine Unit specialises in Minimally Invasive Treatments allowing rapid recovery and return to normal function

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