I'm in perfect health. I work out at the gym regularly. Last week I hurt my back doing a simple task. I thought being in good shape would prevent this. What happened to me?

Level of fitness may not be linked with low back pain according to a new study from the Netherlands. They compared two groups of adults using a bicycle test of fitness. One group had chronic low back pain. The other group had healthy adults without back pain. The two groups were matched for age, gender, and level of activity.

Most of the back pain patients were in much worse shape than the control (healthy) group. But 14 percent of the back pain patients had equal or a higher level of aerobic fitness.

Doctors still aren't sure who will get back pain. Age, fitness, and stress are just a few factors tested for. So far, no single factor has been linked in all cases. At least 80 percent do have work or home stresses that seem to contribute to the cause. Perhaps this is true in your case, too.