The Back Pain Pandemic

Is there a pandemic of back pain?

The word ‘Pandemic’ means: occurring over a wide geographical area and affecting an exceptionally high proportion of the population.

65% of UK adults experience lower back pain within the space of a year and 85% within their lifetime (1).  Back pain is the leading cause of disability in the UK (2) and costs the economy £10 billion every year (3).

Compare that to the Covid 19 pandemic where just over 10% of the UK population has contracted Covid 19 in the last 18 months (4).

Yes, back pain is a pandemic then!

 

A client of mine shared his experience of accessing treatment for back pain that was significantly affecting his life.  Following GP calls and physio, he was referred to the Spinal Service.  Due to demand, he waited three months for a phone consultation to assess whether he was eligible for a scan.

Three months for a phone consultation, another wait for a scan, and then what? More physio, painkillers, increasingly severe medical treatments?  It’s a long and gloomy road.

However, there is hope!  You can fix your back pain without medical intervention – but yes, you will need to take the reins.

The message is loud and clear, modern life, with desk bound lifestyles, poor posture and unnatural movement, brings injury and pain. However, this pain is rarely something that needs medical treatment.  Instead, pain is a warning light, a sign that something isn’t right.  We need to listen, understand it and work with it.  We need to look further than the site of pain itself and ask ‘why’ it’s there and what it’s telling us.

We are lucky to have the NHS, but let’s use it for what it’s designed for – acute and critical care.

Without Foundation Training, the above-mentioned client would still be reaching for the drugs cabinet as he awaits his scan.  Instead, his first aid for back pain is Decompression Breathing.  Check out this video to start taking control of your own body and healing your pain.

References:

  1. Walker, B.F. The prevalence of low back pain: a systemic review of the literature from 1996 to 1998 (2000). Journal of Spinal Disorders.
  2. Greenough, C. The National Back Pain Pathway (2016) england.nhs.uk
  3. Maniadakis, N. et al. The economic burden of back pain in the UK (2000). National Library of Medicine.
  4. https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/cases (as of September 2021)
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