It is estimated that 80% of adults will experience back pain at some point in their lives.
As age increases the number of people suffering as a percentage increases too. Peaking at the ages of 35-55 years.
In 85% of cases there is no clear pathology behind the back pain.
The risk factors most likely to contribute to back pain are; age, weight, sedentary lifestyles, repetitive lifting, bending, reaching, straining,pulling, vibrations, stress, anxiety, depression and smoking.
90% of people with acute back pain will recover in 6 weeks, but 8% will go on to develop chronic back pain conditions.
The NHS spends around £1 billion on back pain costs a year. Privately we spend over £550 million on it per year.
It is estimated that employers loose £590 million a year due to back pain related illness. The UK is not alone in this and it is the 2nd most common reason for work absence. In any one day 1% of the population will be off due to back pain.
Back pain, in particular when persistant, can have a significant impact on people’s lives. It frequently reduces their quality of life and adversely affects their family and social relationships.
40% of people who suffer will see their GP about it and 10% will see an osteopath, physio or chiropractor.
Keeping active as soon as it is possible is key.
Around 35,000 people will see an osteopath every day. Of these, 54% of all new patients are seen within a day of their initial phone contact and nearly all are seen within a week.
Public surveys indicate that 85% of people felt that osteopathy should be in on the NHS. In most areas it is only available privately at varying costs. Private medical cover will generally cover osteopathic appointments.