Most Canadians Impacted by Back Pain

Most Canadians Impacted by Back Pain

Approximately 80% of all Canadians will experience back pain at some point in their lives (some estimates go as high as 84%), and the number is still as high as 50% in any given sixth month period. Anywhere from 34 to 59% of Canadians will experience an acute or subacute back pain episode, while as much as 25% of the population is living with chronic back pain at any given time.

Back pain is also most common in people between the ages of 30 and 50, which means that otherwise healthy people in the prime of their careers are most at risk. That’s what makes it so debilitating. Whether at the office or on a construction site, a flare up will make it more difficult to perform many basic tasks and can severely limit your productivity throughout the day. Simply put, back pain can hinder (or completely derail) a thriving career if not treated properly.

Unfortunately, the evidence suggests that many people with back pain are not getting the appropriate help. In Canada, chronic low back pain is one of the most likely reasons for a trip to the doctor for people under the age of 60. However, the high frequency of back pain makes it likely that many people with back pain have not made that appointment. They’re choosing to either to live with back pain or delaying that consultation until the pain becomes unbearable.

At that point, back pain can be far more difficult to treat, and those doctor’s appointments are expensive. The medical expenses incurred as a result of back pain run anywhere from six to twelve billion dollars every year, which takes a large chunk out of the average Canadian wallet.

Given the sheer numbers, it’s no surprise that back pain drastically increases the amount of time people spend living with disability around the world.

That’s why it’s so important to educate yourself about preventive measures (and treatment options, should pain arise). Back pain affects both men and women, and in most cases, no one cause can be identified. The condition usually results from a combination of factors, including a sedentary lifestyle, poor posture, a heavy lift gone wrong, and/or a traumatic injury like a herniated disk.

Sadly, there is no fool-proof way to guarantee a pain-free life. The fact that the back is so complicated makes it is extremely difficult to predict when back pain will occur, and the statistics indicate that most of us will have to deal with back pain eventually. Fortunately, that does not have to diminish your quality of life. Taking steps to improve your habits will decrease the chances of an incident and make your symptoms more manageable, so ask your doctor what you can do to mitigate the impact of chronic pain!

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