Rebecca Brown, Avniel Klein, Alex Visco, and Joseph E. Herrera INTRODUCTION
Low back pain (LBP) is the most common musculoskeletal complaint in the general population. It is one of the major reasons patients seek medical evaluation (1), second only to upper respiratory illness (2,3). Approximately 50 to 90% of the adult population will suffer from pain related to their back during their lifetime (4,5). Each year, 15 to 45% of adults suffer LBP, and 1 out of 20 people present to the hospital with a new episode of back pain.
A review of worker's compensation cases cites LBP as the most common injury reported. Two percent of the workforce submits disability claims each year for LBP, as a result, back pain has a vast effect on workforce in terms of disability and lost productivity. It is currently the most common cause of disability in workers 45 years of age and younger (6).
In one recent comparative literature study exploring demographic information and its association with back pain, the following predictive variables for duration of sick leave were found:
1. Predictors for a longer duration of sick leave: specific LBP, higher disability levels, older age, female gender, heavier work, receiving higher compensation, more social dysfunction, and more social isolation.
2. Variables with no influence on duration of sick leave because of LBP: a history of LBP, job satisfaction, educational level, marital status, number of dependants, smoking, working longer than 8-hour shifts, occupation, and size of industry or company (7).
About 2 to 7% of patients with acute LBP will go on to become chronic. In the United States, cost estimates of LBP have exceeded $50 billion when considering both health care costs and costs resulting form disability payments and work loss (8). It is also known that the majority of these costs are associated with a small number of LBP sufferers—that is, those having prolonged disability (9). The percentage of patients with acute LBP that go on to a chronic state ranges from 2 to 34%.
Was this article helpful?
Tired Having Back Pains All The Time, But You Choose To Ignore It? Every year millions of people see their lives and favorite activities limited by back pain. They forego activities they once loved because of it and in some cases may not even be able to perform their job as well as they once could due to back pain.