Back Pain – What is the Real Cost

Back pain is the largest single cause of sickness absence from work and, for many people, can be a chronic problem. It is responsible for 93 million working days lost each year in the UK and is more likely to occur during the ages of 30 to 50, the most productive period of most people’s lives. Back pain is so common in the UK that everyone can expect to suffer from it at some time. However it is far less common in India for example, where many more people sit on the floor; which causes the back muscles to find their own natural position rather than lying back on cushioned sofas which causes the back to go into many unusual and generally undesirable positions.

Lower back pain

Lower back pain or low back pain is very common and is the single most common chronic pain syndrome seen in pain clinics in the Western world. This pain is often aggravated by poor lifting techniques, where the sufferer relies mostly on the muscles of the lower back rather than those of the legs, to lift or move any given object. This causes a great deal of inconvenience to those who experience it. People experiencing lower back pain are often best served by remaining at work but only a trained certified health professional confident in their assessment skills can push in that direction.


Treatment should be directed at the specific cause of pain, it can help to speed things up but many back-pain sufferers don’t seek treatment early enough. Treatment for back pain generally depends on what kind of pain you experience: acute or chronic.


Chronic back pain is defined as pain that persists for longer than three months and is much less common than acute pain (sudden/sharp onset). It is the most common cause of activity limitation in persons younger than 45 years. The symptoms of chronic back pain usually arises because there’s an underlying condition such as arthritis or osteoporosis, or because the injury was severe. Chronic back pain is one of the commonest ailments and a cause of private distress, considerable personal and public financial consequences and a condition that is often difficult to treat.

Back pain is a major problem in society, although it is rare in teenagers and not common as a new presentation in the elderly. It is often a recurrent symptom and most patients first experience it in their twenties or thirties. Back pain is now one of the most common reasons for seeking health care, sickness absence from work and long-term receipt of incapacity benefits. Most acute attacks settle quite quickly, usually within a few days or weeks, allowing the sufferer to get back to most ordinary activities.

John Emmanuel – Sport Therapist, a strong back begins with strong core muscles, these are the muscles that support the spine. I have devised a new strengthening and flexibility program that is focused on your core strength that will control your back pain. For more information go to

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