Knoxville (WVLT) - When Dolly Parton put her North American tour on hold this week because of back problems, she joked that her large bust may be the cause.
Volunteer TV's Liz Tedone spoke with a spine surgeon and has more details.
Although Dolly Parton was joking to the media about her bust size, that may not be the only thing causing the 62-year-old's back problems.
"Good posture is vital to back health and that can be one of the main reasons a large bust size can affect back pain," spine surgeon Dr. Patrick Bolt said.
Dr. Patrick Bolt is a spine surgeon. He says most of his patients who have back problems because of large breasts are younger than East Tennessee's own Dolly Parton.
"Women who have back pain related to chest size are typically from puberty into their 30's and 40's. Certainly it can occur later in life," Dr. Bolt said.
Dr. Bolt says most people over 50 begin to develop arthritis in the lumbar or lower spine. He says it's possible Dolly Parton, at 62 years old, could experience this.
"If you've had back pain for more than two weeks, typically it's not a muscle strain. It's an injury to the facet joints or lumbar discs," Dr. Bolt said.
And most doctors agree time is the best medicine for healing. The average back pain episode will heal within 4 to 6 weeks. In Dolly's case, her doctors are asking she stay off tour for up to 8 weeks.
We've learned genetics also play a big part in whether you'll develop back problems later in life, and nearly 90 percent of all Americans experience some kind of severe back pain in their life.