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Posted on 09-13-2017

Alarming Stats on Back Pain!!

Back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide, according to the Global Burden of Disease 2010.

One-half of all working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year. Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work.  In fact, back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections.

Most cases of back pain are mechanical or non-organic—meaning they are not caused by serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture or cancer.

To help you better understand the implications of this, we bring you some of the top back pain statistics, treatment options, and cost effectiveness:

A few alarming stats about back pain:

  • 8/10 Americans will experience back pain in their lifetime
  • 60-80% of back pain sufferers will have a recurrence within two years
  • $50 Billion is spent on back pain treatment in the US annually
  • $100 Billion is spent on indirect costs in the US annually
  • More women suffer with lower back pain than men
  • 50% of all women will have significant backaches during pregnancy
  • 54% of people with back pain have sitting desk jobs
  • Back pain negatively affects our ability to enjoy daily activities in our lives
  • Only 1 in 10 patients ever discover the primary cause of their pain
  • Coincidentally only 10% of the US population has seen a chiropractor.

“Conservative treatments require two things to succeed – frequency and time.  Healing is a process, not an event.” – Dr. Lacey Gillies


Chiropractic Care Is More Effective than Medical Treatment

“Patients with chronic low-back pain treated by chiropractors showed greater improvement and satisfaction at one month than patients treated by family physicians. Satisfaction scores were higher for chiropractic patients. A higher proportion of chiropractic patients (56 percent vs. 13 percent) reported that their low-back pain was better or much better, whereas nearly one-third of medical patients reported their low-back pain was worse or much worse.”  

       Nyiendo et al (2000), Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics

"[Chiropractic care] provides greater short-term reductions in self-reported disability and pain compared with usual medical care.  94% of the [Chiropractic care] group achieved greater reduction in pain compared with 69% of usual medical care."

         Schneider et al (2015), Spine

"Reduced odds of surgery were observed for...those whose first provider was a chiropractor. 42.7% of workers [with back injuries] who first saw a surgeon had surgery, in contrast to only 1.5% of those who saw a chiropractor."

        Keeney et al (2012), Spine

Cost Effectiveness

Findings from a study utilizing data from the North Carolina State Health Plan collected between 2000-2009 show that care by a doctor of chiropractic (DC) alone or DC care in conjunction with care by a medical doctor (MD)  incurred “appreciably fewer charges” for uncomplicated lower back pain than MD care with or without care by a physical therapist.

    Hurwitz et al. (2016), Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics


Older Medicare patients with chronic low back pain and other medical problems who received spinal manipulation from a chiropractic physician had lower costs of care and shorter episodes of back pain than patients in other treatment groups. Patients who received a combination of chiropractic and medical care had the next lowest Medicare costs, and patients who received medical care only incurred the highest costs.

    Weeks et al (2016), Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics


What is Chiropractic Care?

Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs) practice a hands-on, drug-free approach to health care.

Chiropractic is a health care profession that focuses on correcting problems of the neuromusculoskeletal system, and restoring nerve system function to promote optimal general health and wellness.

Doctors conclusions and recommendations:

  • Back pain should be managed conservatively and without medications
  • Do not seek medical care unless red flags are present
    • (Ex: bowel or bladder problems, numbness where you sit, severe neurological deficits - loss of muscle control)
  • Chiropractic care saves time, money, and provides greater outcome satisfaction
  • If you have had back pain in the past, continue proactive preventative care
  • If your employees have sitting desk jobs, encourage them to seek care
  • If you plan to become pregnant in the future - find a chiropractor today
  • Self-management is important (Ice and stretch).
  • Stay active – hurt does not equal harm - continue light work and exercise.

Thanks so much for reading! We hope this has been helpful, and this article finds its way to the people who most need it.  If you or a loved one are experiencing back pain, we would love to take a deeper look at the cause of the problem, and help in any way we can.  

The Doctors at Hassel Family Chiropractic

Hassel Family Chiropractic


[email protected]





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I've been seeing Dr. Hassel for more than 14 years. Chiropractic health is as much of my overall health plan as exercise is. The benefits of Chiropractic and Dr. Hassel's advice over the years are too numerous to mention. It's the best relationship I have with any Dr. and the only one I look forward to seeing because I'm there staying healthy.

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