demanding great effort, endurance, etc.; exhausting: a backbreaking job.
Also, back-breaking.

1780–90; back1 + break + -ing2

backbreaker, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
backbreaking (ˈbækˌbreɪkɪŋ)
demanding great effort; exhausting

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Example sentences
Seafaring in the age of sail was backbreaking work and fraught with peril, but
  the sailor's real scourge was scurvy.
By any measuring stick, it was grueling, backbreaking work.
He populated his stories with downtrodden characters fatalistically conditioned
  and controlled by their backbreaking labor.
Why we're filling the malls even as backbreaking energy costs and other ills
  shrink our spending power.
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