It’s estimated that 60-80% of people in the US experience back pain at one time in their life and up to 50% of workers will complain of having back pain during the last year. Those statistics are staggering. The causes of back pain are varied and individual. It can be from lifting things improperly, or repeatedly. It can also be from sitting in one position for extended periods of time. Even sitting on a thick wallet in your back pocket frequently will cause back pain.
The following quote about the cost of back pain in medical care and lost wages, as well as other factors is from the 2011 article, Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education and Research (link below). Considering escalating healthcare costs and cost of living the actual cost is most likely even greater today.
‘Total incremental cost of health care due to pain ranged from $261 to $300 billion. The value of lost productivity is based on three estimates: days of work missed (ranging from $11.6 to $12.7 billion), hours of work lost (from $95.2 to $96.5 billion), and lower wages (from $190.6 to $226.3 billion). Thus, the total financial cost of pain to society, which combines the health care cost estimates and the three productivity estimates, ranges from $560 to $635 billion. All estimates are in 2010 dollars.’
When people experience back pain others often share what helps relieve their pain. People will tell you to get a massage, rest, or use ice, or to not use ice and use heat. There are over the counter and prescription medications to help relieve back pain. Patches and soaks and ointments. Most people who experience chronic or frequent back pain will find what works best for them.
There are countless things to do when experiencing back pain. There are also things we should avoid to reduce our risk of developing back pain. Here are my top five.
While it may not be possible to eliminate back pain all together. Avoiding things that may cause or exacerbate back pain is just as important as the things you do to relieve pain once you’re experiencing it.