Do people with low back pain have a harder time getting back to their normal activities than people with neck pain?

Research suggests that, compared to people with neck pain, people with low back pain may be more likely to avoid activities perceived to cause more pain. This difference between groups is fairly slight.

But the results of avoiding activities seem to be worse for people with low back pain. For this group, fear of activities is clearly linked to more pain and disability. This can lead to loss of work and other problems. In contrast, fear of activities isn't necessarily related to pain and disability for people with neck pain.

People with low back pain should be careful about avoiding activities because they fear more pain. A healthier response would be to return to normal activities gradually. This will lead to a better recovery over the long run.

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