Estimated that, globally, one out of every ten people suffer from lower back pain. The problem appears to be particularly prevalent in the US. According to earlier estimates, as many as eight out of 10 Americans struggle with back pain.
In the US, it accounts for 10 percent of all primary care doctors visits each year, costing Americans as much as $86 billion annually, but according to recent findings, back pain is also the number one cause of job disability worldwide.
Clearly, it’s a universal problem of extreme proportions. The study, published in the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases, found that out of 291 health conditions included in the Global Burden of Disease 2010 Study, low-back pain ranked at the very top regarding disability. According to the authors:
“Lower back pain causes more global disability than any other condition. With the aging population, there is an urgent need for further research to understand it better across different settings.”
Back Pain. – A Driving Force Behind A Growing Drug Problem.
A related concern, not addressed in the featured study, is the fact that lower back pain is also one of the primary reasons why people get hooked on prescription painkillers.
Deaths caused by overdosing on painkillers now surpass murders and fatal car accidents in the US. Over the past five years, heroin deaths have increased by 45 percent– an increase that officials blame on the rise of addictive prescription drugs such as Vicodin, Oxycontin, Percocet, codeine, and Fentora, all of which are opioids (derivatives of opium). Heroin is simply a cheaper option to these prescription medications.
Still, prescription painkillers claim far more lives than illegal street drugs like heroin. According to Gil Kerlikowske, director of the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy, prescription painkillers were responsible for 16,600 deaths in 2010 – well over five times more than those caused by heroin.
US officials have recently gone on the offensive, stating that narcotic painkillers are a driving force in the rise of substance abuse and lethal overdoses and that both patients and doctors need to become better informed about their risks.
Back pain, in turn, is a driving force behind opioid drug use, which makes it a central focus not just on decreasing disability claims and improving health and quality of life for millions of people, but also for tackling a rapidly growing problem of legal drug abuse and the associated death toll. Consider Electromagnetic Therapy as a natural Pain Relief, Therapeutic, and Posture problem alternative.