Disability Worldwide & Back Pain

Did You Know:

Back pain is one of the top 10 causes of disability worldwide.

In fact, it even ranks above diabetes and heart disease worldwide. When measured according to a common health metric known as Years Lived with Disability (YLDs). This metric of health problems quantifies the impact of health issues that impair mobility, hearing or vision or cause pain in ways that aren’t usually directly fatal.

As we all know, low back pain is a commonly discussed topic in Western media. Many of us work long hours and lead relatively sedentary lifestyles. However, the importance of having a healthy back increases twofold for those that are living in developing countries. Most of the worlds poor make their living performing physical labor, including subsistence farming. In these cases, lower back pain is no longer simply an annoyance or an inconvenience; it can mean the difference between eating and going hungry.

In most developed countries, low back pain is responsible for the highest number of YLDs. In most developing countries, low back pain is one of the five most important nonfatal conditions. Lower back pain is common across sexes, age groups countries, social class, education levels, and occupations.  It is responsible for keeping people awake at night everywhere around the globe.

Low back pain remains a problem worldwide. For the majority, finding the specific cause of back pain is unclear. Without intervention, the large number of people suffering will continue to grow as the population ages. Factors such as old age, obesity, and stress, as well as occupations that require significant heavy lifting, can contribute to an increased risk of low back pain. Fortunately, many of these cases can be taken care of simply by spreading the knowledge that we have about what causes back pain.