Research has found that most back pain suffers do not do enough to help themselves.
Two-thirds of sufferers who visit their GP apparently do not follow the advice given or do not do the exercises recommended.
So millions of people are risking needlessly living in agony simply because they are not doing what they are told, according to the survey for back care device makers bac<.
Pain is not all sufferers have to put up with.
Some 14 per cent of those polled have to give up sex when back pain strikes.
Sufferers also admitted the pain affected their relationships with children, family, friends and colleagues at work.
Some 24 per cent suffered poor mental health and 35 per cent said it made them short-tempered and snappy.
More than a fifth reported a negative effect on their work and study, a tenth said they were unable to take care of their pets, including walking their dog, and a quarter felt unable to do housework.
The survey of 2,056 people also revealed that 19 per cent felt their pain prevented them from enjoying their hobbies, 14 per cent were unable to drive anywhere and eight per cent found it impossible to look after their children.