Who Suffers The Most From Back Pain?

Recent research has found that eight in every ten Americans will suffer from back pain. That alarming statistic proves that it’s on the rise. In fact, the number of people 18 years and older that suffer from lower back rose to 29% in 2013, up from 28.1% of the population in 1997. For people over 65, the stats are worse. While in 1997 the number was already at 29.5% of the American population, it was up to 33.7% in 2013.

Those suffering from lower back pain can also be broken down based on gender, with nearly 1/3 of all women suffering from it and about 1/4 of men. More than 30% of men who suffer from back pain admit that it affects their ability to complete tasks at their jobs, and 20% of women agreed.

back pain

How It Hurts…

When APTA conducted their Move Forward study that featured over 2,600 participants, they found that back pain affected almost every aspect of a person’s daily life, with 39% saying it affected their daily tasks, 38% saying it affected their exercise, and 37% admitting that it affected their ability to sleep.

In America, citizens spend a total of $50 billion a year on treating their lower back pain. Another $100 billion is spent annually on indirect costs.

Why Do So Many People Suffer From Back Pain?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, over half of all people who report suffering from back pain (54%) work desk jobs.

But why exactly do desk jobs cause back pain? After all, not being on your feet all day should be a comfort, right?

The main factor is bad posture when sitting. Most workers sit hunched over their desk, usually with a chair that has little or no back support. Additionally, remaining in the same position for hours at a time leads to poor circulation (which also results in many other negative consequences).

back pain

While these factors definitely contribute, 9 out 10 people who suffer from back pain don’t actually know what caused it. But, in addition to a desk job, being overweight, not getting enough exercise, bad posture, and straining oneself can all lead to back pain.

What Do People Do About It?

About 40% of people go to their primary care physician when they begin suffering from lower back pain. Another 40% go to a chiropractor, and just 20% go to a subspecialist. America found that 54% of people found chiropractic treatment an effective solution for that back pain while 48% opted for physical therapy.