Many studies have been conducted over the years about the prevalence of low back pain. Most data reflects that the chance of seeking care for low back pain in a lifetime is about 65-90%. This means that you are much more likely to have low back pain at some point compared to never having back problems.

Many studies have been conducted over the years about the prevalence of low back pain. Most data reflects that the chance of seeking care for low back pain in a lifetime is about 65-90%. This means that you are much more likely to have low back pain at some point compared to never having back problems. The prevalence of low back pain spikes between the ages of thirty-five to fifty-five. This age group is the bulk of the workforce here in America. Low back pain is the leading cause of activity limitation and work absence. So how much is this costing the United States of America?

The Cost of Low Back PainIn the U.S., it’s estimated that we lose 149 million work days per year due to the incidence of low back pain. That’s a very large number and calculates out to be a much larger burden. When you consider the economic loss of those 149 million days per year, this equates to billions of dollars. It is estimated that low back pain causes a loss of 100-200 BILLION dollars per year. The major reasons are lost wages and lower productivity. I think we can all agree, low back pain is a MASSIVE problem and carries a significant financial debt. So what can be done about low back pain?

One term that you will hear more often in modern day medicine is PREVENTION. Although you do not have back pain now, the data shows that you will probably have back pain at some point in the future. Using prevention techniques can significantly lower your chances of developing low back pain. Certain strategies include; working on posture, staying fit, exercising and maintaining a strong core to support the spine, using proper lift techniques, and in general maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle. If you find yourself bending at the waist to pick up that bag of salt to put in the water softener, STOP, and bend your knees and use your legs. It is amazing how many patients we see in clinic who just made the wrong move at the wrong time that resulted in a back injury. Also, strengthening the core muscles along the posterior aspect of the spine as well as strengthening the anterior abdominal musculature will help support the axial spine and prevent injury. In summary, we need to stop being reactive to low back pain and start being proactive with preventative medicine.

If you have back pain and are tired of missing so many days of work, come see us at Prairie Spine & Pain Institute. It’s time to make a change and better your health and future.



Derek MorrowAbout The Author:
Derek N. Morrow, PA-C is a physician assistant with Prairie Spine and Pain Institute. Derek works in the clinic setting as a health care provider seeing patients. He is also utilized in the operating room as a first assist in surgery. In the clinic setting, his key function is to diagnose new patients and conduct their initial treatment. He works directly with patients to establish customized treatment programs and to monitor their progress. He also conducts history and physical evaluations for many patients. He performs many office procedures including trigger point injections, large joint injections, and bursa injections, all with the help of ultrasound guidance. He is radiologically trained, and uses his knowledge of X-ray, Ultrasound, MRI, CT, and EMG-Nerve Conduction Studies to establish a diagnosis and determine the appropriate treatment. Derek is surgically trained and plays a vital role in the procedures we perform at Prairie Spine and Pain Institute.