Increased Height Correlates To Increased Risk Of Lower Back Pain Surgery

Me: What we are seeing from this study is a correlation with the old wive’s tale that the taller you are, the more likely you are to get back pain, especially the lower type. Sure, common sense dictates that if you have more mass on the torso for the interverterbal disks and back muscles to hold up, they are more likely to fracture and be crushed, causing cerebro-spinal fluid leakage on the nerves on the vertebrate. Of course, I am just describing a common pathology known as “bulging disks” or “herniated disks”. If you are above a certain percentile in the height distribution, your risks and chances for getting lower back pain surgery goes up dramatically. This sort of means that being short has a few good qualities to it. The most obvious being that we see the direct correlation that shorter people have less chance for developing cancer.

From PubMed study link HERE

Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2010 Jan 15;62(1):125-7.

Are tall people at higher risk of low back pain surgery? A discussion on the results of a multipurpose cohort.

Coeuret-Pellicer M, Descatha A, Leclerc A, Zins M.


INSERM, U687, Villejuif, France.



To investigate whether height is associated with low back pain (LBP) and surgery, taking into account personal and socioeconomic risk factors in a general population.


In 2001, 13,680 participants of the Gazel cohort completed a self-reported questionnaire on LBP and surgery interventions. Three groups were compared according to their body height: no LBP (reference group, participants who declared they never had LBP), LBP without surgery (participants who ever had LBP but without surgery), and back surgery (participants who ever had surgery for LBP). Adjusted variables were sex, age, educational level, marital status, height, and body mass index.


Mean height was significantly higher in men in the back surgery group than in the reference group and the LBP group. The proportion of surgically-treated LBP was higher for people whose height was > or =4th quartile (P < 0.0001). Being in the highest quartile for height was a stronger risk factor for surgery (adjusted odds ratio [OR(adj)] = 2.01, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] 1.61-2.51) than for LBP without surgery (OR(adj) = 1.29, 95% CI 1.18-1.40).


The results suggest that being tall is a predictor for back surgery.

PMID:  20191500     [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE] 
PMCID:    PMC3061965

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