7 Facts About Back Pain That Might Surprise You

Did you know that around eight in 10 Americans experience back issues at some point in their lives? 

Unfortunately, too many people have first-hand experience when it comes to back pain. And, as the stat above suggests, the vast majority of Americans will become acquainted with it at some point. Back pain, including chronic back pain, impacts adults of all ages and income levels. 

While there are invasive and non-invasive treatment options available for back pain, it remains a big problem that can rob people of their ability to lead normal lives. 

To learn more about the issue, keep reading for seven surprising facts.

1. Majority of People With Back Pain Unclear About the Cause

While back pain is common, you might be surprised to know that 90% of patients–nine out of every 10–aren’t sure about the cause of their back pain. One reason is there are many potential causes, so narrowing things down to pinpoint the precise cause is challenging. But going to a reputable health care provider can help you get to the root of the issue. The health care provider will be able to provide targeted treatment to remedy the problem. 

If you’ve recently started experiencing back pain or have been experiencing it for a while, it makes sense to see a spine specialist who can get to the root of the matter. 

2. Smoking Can Lead to Low Back Pain

You might wonder what smoking has to do with back pain. If you smoke, blood flow to your spine can slow down and cause your spine to essentially age more quickly than usual. This means that your odds of getting back pain as you age will go up if you’re a smoker. So, now’s the time if you’re looking for more motivation to kick the habit. 

3. Low Back Pain the Leading Cause of Disability

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, low back pain causes more disability around the globe than any other condition. So, not only is back discomfort prevalent and debilitating–it’s also the chief cause of disability.

4. Back Pain Costs the U.S. $100 Billion Annually

Back pain is one of the most commonly reported workplace injuries. The associated costs add up to $100 billion each year for, among other things, lost productivity. Indeed, back pain is the main reason for workplace injury claims and job-related disability.

5. Back Pain Is a Main Reason for Work-Loss Days

Did you know that around 83 million workdays are lost annually because of back pain? The research showing this was conducted a while back. But that doesn’t change the fact that back pain is a primary reason workers call in to claim sick days to go to their doctors.

6. 8% of Adults Endure Chronic Back Pain

Were you aware that 16 million adults–8% of adults overall–experience chronic back pain? The discomfort can make it hard to do everyday things like washing dishes or brushing teeth.

7. Some Believe Stress Causes Back Pain

One survey shows that 29% of U.S. adults dealing with back issues believe that stress caused the discomfort. Another 26 percent say the cause is a lack of exercise or weak muscles, and another 26% said the reason is physical work.

As you can see, back pain is no laughing matter. It’s a severe problem that far too many people experience. If you are experiencing issues with your back, you must seek medical attention. Your doctor might recommend that you see a specialist who will be better able to figure out your problem and suggest the most effective treatment to fix the issue.

Christopher Stern

Christopher Stern is a Washington-based reporter. Chris spent many years covering tech policy as a business reporter for renowned publications. He has extensive experience covering Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Federal Trade Commissions. He is a graduate of Middlebury College. Email:[email protected]

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