The Cost of Lower Back Pain
by Dr. Anthony Cutting
An analysis by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) on United States (US) health care spending, revealed that low back and neck pain accounted for the third highest amount of spending at $87.6 billion (US Spending on Personal Health Care and Public Health, 1996-2013 – December 27, 2016).
The most staggering part of this is not that 80% of people will experience low back pain (not to mention the number that will experience neck or mid-back pain) but it’s the lost wages and productivity that this burden puts on US employees and the economy.
According to new research, low back pain is now the leading cause of disability worldwide and accounts for nearly one third of work-related disability. Have you ever thought that your pain could lead to bankruptcy? Harvard Medical School found that medical bankruptcies now account for 62% of all bankruptcies. Terrible to think that people work most of their lives to earn an income but retirement can be ruined by poor health.
These are words that carry a deep meaning for most Americans who can relate to this topic. So, if total low back pain related cost in America is $87.6 billion with some estimates closer to $200 billion a year, why haven’t we heard of the importance of maintaining a healthy spine? We know that brushing our teeth is good and slows tooth decay. We know that proper up keep of anything helps prevent deterioration so it’s obviously time that we start to think about taking better care of our spines.
What is the last thing you did for the health of your spine? If you’re thinking about it, then chances are you haven’t done much to improve the health of your spine or possibly you didn’t even know you needed to do anything for your spinal health. The fact is, we all know someone, either a loved one, coworker, or a friend who suffers with back pain.