A very common statistic is that 80% of all people will experience some sort of back pain at one point in their lives. And while for some of these people it will only be a minor occurrence, for most it will happen again, and for others it may even become chronic. Even minor lower back injuries can be very painful, and chronic low back pain can be severely debilitating and have a major impact on how people live their lives.
Whether you've had lower back pain before, have it now, or are worried about getting it in the future, these 10 quick facts are something everyone should know:
1. It's a Worldwide Problem - It has been estimated that at least 10% of the world's population is experiencing lower back pain. That's nearly 750 Million people!
2. Money - In order to treat their lower back pain, Americans spend nearly $50 Billion dollars each year! When you include additional costs such as lost wages because of the injury, health insurance, and legal bills, that number jumps to over $150 Billion dollars!
3. Women Have It Worse - Women are more likely to have lower back pain than men. 30% of women report having back problems compared to just one quarter of men.
4. The Pain Can Return - It has been reported that 90% of lower back pain cases will clear up within four to six weeks without any treatment. But this is actually a misconception, as studies have shown that over 60% of patients may still have back pain after a year, and up to 80% of lower back pain sufferers will have a reoccurrence of the same problem within two years of it first starting.
5. It Stops You From Doing Your Normal Routine - Over a third of the people suffering with lower back pain report that it is stopping them from doing many of the things they used to, such as their daily tasks, exercising, or even getting a full night's sleep. And over 50% of people with chronic lower back pain say that it stops them from being able to sleep comfortably.
6. The Number Of Fusion Surgeries Is Increasing, And They Might Not Even Work - There has been a dramatic increase in the amount of people electing to undergo spinal fusion surgery to treat their lower back pain. Over the last 25 years the number of these fusion procedures has increased by more than 700%! Even worse is that according to experts, over half of these surgeries are not at all needed. Plus research has shown that half of the fusions performed will also be unsuccessful. So it might not even work!
7. Our Jobs Are A Big Cause - Just over half of all Americans who have lower back pain have jobs that require them to sit for most of the day.
8. It's One Of The Most Common Reasons For Seeking Medical Help - Low back pain is the fifth most common reason that people seek help from a medical professional, and just over a third of sufferers will go to a doctor for their lower back pain.
9. What's Causing It? - The reason for the lower back pain can often be very hard to determine. In fact, only about 10% of people with lower back pain ever find out what is actually causing it. This can be a problem because many people may be getting treatments that are wrong or unneccessary for their condition.
10. Women Have It Worse, Part 2 - Half of pregnant women will experience lower back pain at some point during their pregnancy. And as the pregnancy continues, the chances of suffering backaches increase along with the amount of pain they cause.
At the Illinois Back Institute we strive to educate everyone as much as possible about their back pain and sciatica, because it is proven that the more people know about their problem the more likely they are to eliminate it!
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