A study published in 2003 estimated that the cost of pain, including low back pain, for U.S. businesses was around $61 billion. This figure establishes the loss of productivity due to workers in the U.S. being unable to perform their jobs because of painful conditions. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, individuals in the U.S. spend $50 billion each year on low back pain treatment alone.

Eight out of ten people will be affected by some form of low back pain in their lives.  

So what else makes low back pain one of the worst pain conditions in the United States? Let’s look at some of the statistics:

  • Low back pain was reported by the National Institute of Health Statistics to be the most common form of pain affecting 28.4% of people. The next most common condition is migraine pain that affects 16.6%.
  • 28% of adults in the U.S. with low back pain reported decreased activity and increased depression due to their chronic conditions. Adults who reported low back pain were three times more likely to be in poor health and four times more likely to be affected by mental health issues.
  • Former smokers also report a higher occurrence of low back pain than those who have never smoked. Current smokers also seek treatment for back pain more often than non-smokers.
  • Nearly 59% of people with back pain report trouble falling asleep or sleeping through the night. This was directly related to the intensity of the pain they were experiencing.
  • Workers with low back pain are much more likely to lose productivity in the workplace. 35% of patients receiving work disability are doing so because of low back pain. Healthcare for individuals with low back pain is also estimated to be about 60% higher than average.
  • Over 19% of workplace injuries reported in 2011 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics directly affected the back. 2% of the workforce is compensated each year for these types of injuries.

For more information on the statistics related to back pain in the United States, refer to this fact sheet presented by In The Face of Pain.

How has back pain affected your life? 

Image by jmawork via Flickr

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