Musculo-skeletal pain is a major cause of back pain that can affect bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, vertebral discs, connective tissue, and nerves. It can be acute (having a rapid onset with severe symptoms) or chronic (lasting more than 6 months). Musculoskeletal pain can be localized in one area, radiate in specific patterns, or be felt throughout the body.
Lower back pain is the most common type of musculoskeletal pain while other common types include tendonitis, myalgia (muscle pain), nerve compressions, and stress fractures. Although the principles in this area of our website can be applied to all areas of musculoskeletal pain we will be focusing our attention on back pain given that large percentage of patients seek help for this growing problem. In fact , musculoskeletal pain in other areas of the body can be a result of referral pain patterns from back, hip, or neck muscles.
Here are some industry statistics that may surprise you about low back pain:
- The National Pain Foundation states that less than 15% of back pain can be attributed to a specific cause. That leaves more than 85% of back pain sufferers with no specific identifiable reasons for their pain.
- Represents 25% of all work related compensation claims and 33% of compensation costs.
- Work related sick days due to back pain, is second only to the common cold. It is estimated that 40% of sick days are related to back pain. Over 100 million work days lost due to low back pain.
- Leading cause of disability in people under 45 years old.
- Second leading surgical procedure with over 500,000 annually in the U.S.
- Surgery is generally only required in 3-5% of back pain cases.
- Four out of five people will experience low back pain at some point in their lives.