The incidence of back symptoms, particularly in the lumbar region, was investigated in 267 female nursing aides in a geriatric hospital. The overall incidence of low-back symptoms was 46.8%. Low-back insufficiency was present in 40%, lumbago in 18.4% and sciatica in 7.6%. Nursing aides with low-back symptoms had a higher incidence of cervical and thoracic spine symptoms than those without low-back symptoms. Recurrence of low-back symptoms had been common, appearing in 82%. Nursing aides with lowback symptoms considered their work more stressful to the spine than those without low-back symptoms. No relationship was found between different kinds of lifting technique and the incidence of low-back symptoms.