According to a recent study it has been revealed that half of all UK workers had problems with back pain in the last year. Further to this, it is believed that one in five had such bad pain that they had to take time off from work because of it.
The study involved a sample of 1,600 people aged between 16 and 65 and discovered that the majority of those with back pain struggle with the problem long term. Of the people who have experienced back pain within the last year, around a third have been experiencing the pain for over a year; a quarter of the same group have been suffering for over two years and 15% of the group have had back troubles for over five years.
One in five were believed to have back pain that disrupted both their home and working lives on an almost daily basis; worse was the fact that one in twenty stated that they were living in constant pain. When looking at the information provided by aged 55 and over, this figure rose to one in ten. Half of the group had been to their GP about their back pain trying to find treatment however; over a third said they hadn’t managed to find treatment that was successful for their problem. Those that did so, a third managed through physiotherapy, a fifth used exercise to reduce the pain and 7% had more severe problems that required surgery.
It is clear that back pain affects a large number of people a substantial number of people on a very regular basis. If the figures in the study are representative across the nation and the wider workforce, then currently there are thousands upon thousands of people suffering from permanent and excruciating back pain.
Consultant spinal surgeon Manoj Krishna stated that those suffering from back and neck pain are also at a great risk of developing depression, both combining to cause long term illness and potential absence from work. The best solution to tackle the problem is early treatment in order to minimise suffering however sufferers can be caught in a quandary, where on one hand they want to treat their pain but they don’t want the treatment and potential surgery that comes with it.
According to information recently released by the Office for National Statistics detailed the fact musculoskeletal problems resulted in 34.4 million lost working days in 2011, making it the biggest reason for lost work days.
Stuart writes on behalf of provider of health insurance AXA PPP healthcare who have just released their musculoskeletal centre, containing a whole host of information around the issue.