Back pain is effecting a substantial range of people and that comes at a price.
Many of us carry the preconceived notion that back pain is an affliction that only the elderly have to worry about. The unfortunate truth is that back pain is much more prevalent than we may have previously assumed. According to a report by the WHO, lower back pain is being experienced by people of all ages. In industrialised countries, it affects over 50% of the population and is a frequent cause for medical consultations. This, in turn, will increase the cost of healthcare.
New Data Shows the Prevalence of Back Pain
Recent data shows that an incredible 60% to 80% of people experience varying degrees of back pain at some stage in their lives. This may range from mild pain in muscles and posture-related difficulties, to serious harm befalling the spinal cord. It’s important to note that the age at which one may find themselves suffering from the condition will also vary. While it is true that senior citizens have the highest chance of developing back pain, the same data revealed that children, workers, and psychically active members of the ages 35 to 55 are also at risk.
A study that was published in the Arthritis Care & Research journal examined back pain over a period of 16 years amongst Canadian patients. There were more than 12,000 participants in the study and their data was collected between the years of 1994 and 2011.
It found that almost 50% of them experienced back pain at least once in 16 years. This pain ranged from persistent to occasional and the patients whose pain was measured at persistent and developing also experienced disability. As a result their use of medication was higher as were their healthcare visits.
This risk of back pain can have a negative effect on the patients quality of life, limiting their ability to complete daily activities.
When to Seek Medical Advice
According to Dr. Tamlyn, people suffering from back pain should never ignore any message of pain that the body sends”. Seek medical advice from a specialist who can accurately prescribe the proper treatment for your back pain.
WebMD suggests some natural remedies for those suffering from back pain, such as applying ice to the affected area within 48 hours, losing weight, quitting smoking, and incorporating stretches and exercises that help strengthen the spine and core. Other important considerations include creating a healthy workstation that emphasizes good sitting posture and other ergonomic improvements.
Cost of back pain
This prevalence of back pain inevitably translates into money, with back pain serving as one of the most costly health problems for the medical sector. According to the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, the accumulated expense for lower back pain care exceeds $100 billion every year. This cost was a result of medical care, reduced productivity and lower wages.
The cost of treating back pain can also be noticed at an individual scale. According to verywellhealth, a survey conducted by the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that those experiencing back or neck problems found themselves spending up to an estimated $6,090 a year on health care, double people without back issues.
With the high likelihood that most of us will experience back pain sometime in our lives, a combination of better awareness, preventive measures, and being informed on the latest medical options are all important for not letting back pain get in the way of enjoying our lives.