Is it true that once you've injured your back, you're more likely to hurt it again?

Unfortunately, this is true. Many studies have shown that the strongest predictor of future back pain is a current (or previous) episode of back pain. In fact people who've had low back pain (LBP) have twice the rate of new LBP compared to people who've never had LBP.

The more often you have back pain, the greater your risk of new back pain. What's not clear is whether the "new" back pain is really new or just a recurrence of the old back pain. It's possible that patients don't fully recover and reinjure themselves.