My mother has had back pain off and on for 10 years or more. Her pain and disability is getting worse over time. Is this normal?

Some say "normal" is only a setting on your dryer. In the case of chronic back pain some people learn to manage their symptoms over time. Others become more and more distressed and disabled.

Scientists aren't sure why this is so. Are there genetic factors? Do some people have a different "hard wiring" so-to-speak for pain? Are there certain psychosocial reasons why one person recovers while another gets worse? There's no doubt that psychologic and emotional factors play a part.

Studies show that for the 10 percent of back pain patients who develop chronic pain, distress and disability is common.