More than 600 million people worldwide suffer from back pain

More than 600 million people worldwide suffer from back pain

Who doesn’t know it: back pain can really mess up your day. According to a recent study, however, they are among the most common complaints in the world.

According to an analysis, pain in the lower back is the most common cause of disability worldwide. According to this, 619 million people worldwide suffered from lower back pain in 2020. Risk factors for this are the ergonomics of the workplace, obesity and smoking, writes an international research team in the journal “The Lancet Rheumatology”. In 2050, more than 840 million people worldwide could suffer from such complaints.

As early as 2018, scientists reported in The Lancet that more than half a billion people around the world suffer from lower back pain. This fits with data from Germany: A sample from the Robert Koch Institute in 2021 showed that more than two thirds of those surveyed were affected by back pain, with the vast majority of them naming pain in the lower spine area.

The current analysis estimates the prevalence of such complaints for the period 1990 to 2020 and the number of years that the general population in 204 countries and regions has lived with this type of back pain. According to this, 619 million people were affected worldwide in 2020. Compared to 1990, there were more people overall, but adjusted for age, the number fell by around ten percent over the period.

The back hurts especially in old age

Age-standardized pain was most common in Hungary and the Czech Republic, and least common in the Maldives and Myanmar. Across countries and regions, more women than men were affected in all age groups, with gender differences becoming more pronounced after the age of 75. Overall, back pain was most common in people aged 85 and over.

The authors also examined the burden of disease from this pain and calculated the number of years of life spent with health impairments. According to this, pain in the lower back is the most common cause of years of life in poor health globally: 69 million such years of life were attributed to it in 2020.

Two-fifths of these are due to three risk factors. These include ergonomic factors at work – such as frequent lifting of heavy loads, standing for long periods or awkward sitting positions – as well as being overweight and smoking. In fact, studies show a link between tobacco use and chronic back pain. It is assumed that the blood vessel narrowing effect of nicotine promotes arteriosclerosis and thus a poorer supply of bones, intervertebral discs and back muscles.

Back pain increasingly leads to inability to work

Due to the expected growth and aging of the population, the authors predict that the number of people affected will increase to a good 840 million people in the next three decades: “By 2050, the total number of cases of low back pain will increase worldwide expected to increase by 36.4 percent, with the largest increases in Asia and Africa.”

The high prevalence worldwide is already a cause for concern. For example, between 2012 and 2014, the total direct costs for all patients with a spinal condition in the United States would have been US$315 billion. “In addition, the number of prescription drugs for spinal disorders in Australia has increased significantly in recent years, with opioids being the most commonly prescribed class of drugs for back pain,” it said. After all, this pain would also have economic consequences – especially for people of working age. In chronic form, they could lead to premature retirement from working life.

Targeted measures for back health are all the more important. These include better equipped workplaces, more effective therapies and prevention programs for certain population groups such as the elderly. “Global strategies to reduce the number of new cases of low back pain and related disability are critical.”

Source: Stern

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Posts

Cuts: Tchibo wants to cut around 300 jobs

Cuts: Tchibo wants to cut around 300 jobs

The Group does not rule out redundancies for operational reasons. The usual salary increase will also be canceled this year. The Hamburg trading group and