March 8, 2017
Discomfort in the upper, lower or mid-portion of the back is becoming all too common. More people are leading sedentary lifestyles, carrying excess body weight and engaging in repetitive motion activities. Spending long hours seated in front of computers or craned over e-readers, laptops, tablets and mobile phones is certainly having its effects. As people becoming increasingly engaged with technology and screen time increases, companies are paying more money to address work-related injuries and consumers are experiencing the pinch of severe discomfort in their personal lives. Following are some surprising statistics that show the ever-growing impact of back pain.
Although physical therapists, chiropractors and conventional doctors are capable of treating far more than back discomfort, this is frequently the reasons for office visits. It is estimated that 31 percent of the nation is experiencing pain in the lower back are or lumbar spine at any time. Due to increased obesity and increased screen time among children, these statistics represent nearly all age ranges.
This discomfort is currently the foremost cause of disability throughout the world. This was recorded in a 2010 report called the Global Burden of Disease. As per this report, the most common causes of this specific disability are obesity, sedentary living, prolonged sitting and repetitive motion activities. This pain is also recorded as being one of the most common reasons for calling in sick for work.
Only infections of the respiratory tract outnumber incidents of lumbar pain in terms of overall office visits. This pain is known as the second most common reason for going to the doctor or to any other medical practitioner that offers therapies for pain management and expedited healing. These visits can be the result of car accidents, slip and fall injuries, forceful blows such as kicks or punches to the area, and bending and lifting injuries. In the United States, the total costs of this pain is estimated to reach a surprising $78 billion dollars annually.
There are numerous physiological causes for this discomfort however many are functional in nature meaning that they impact the functioning of the joints, vertebrae, muscles, bones or ligaments in a way that affects the positioning, mobility and flexibility of the spine. In addition to pulled or stressed muscles, however, there is always the possibility of kidney infection or other kidney problems, the development of tumors that place pressure on the sciatic or other nerves and the development of bone spurs.
When one portion of the spine is misaligned, other body parts are invariably forced to compensate for this problem. This can ultimately lead to a host of secondary problems. Thus, while people may not initially visit the doctor with complaints of pain in their backs, this is frequently the underlying cause.
Poor bending and lifting techniques can be mitigated by proper training of employees. Given the high prevalence of these injuries, more companies are investing in increased training for their workers in order to minimize injury claims and their own premiums. Companies are also investing in an increased amount of ergonomic equipment designs to ensure proper functioning, use and protection of the spine while work duties are performed.
It is estimated that more than 80 percent of the population will experience this issue in one form or another throughout their lives. While proper and healthy life habits can play a major role in mitigating the risk of developing many different types of pain in the lower, mid or upper back, these are not successful in mitigating most accident events and the discomfort they cause. Even a healthy, active person can slip and fall or be involved in car crash.