In North America, back pain, or dorsopathy is one of the most prevalent conditions experienced by the average person. Over thirty million Americans are suffering from some sort of back discomfort and it is thought that in the general work force population that half of the workers will experience of back problems during the average year. It is reported that half of the American population over the age of 18 has had some sort of back problems in the last five years and that between 60 and 90 % of all Americans will have back pain at some time in their lives. Back pains are estimated to cost the country fifty billion dollars yearly in lost work time and incurred medical costs since nearly 40 % of all employees sick days are caused by back pain.
Since at least 90 % of all back pain has no specific cause those suffering from back pain will have the pain resolve on its own in no more than four to six weeks without any medical treatment. Treating back pain at home may consist of bed rest for 2 to 3 days with application of hot/cold compresses and over the counter analgesics to help relieve the pain and inflammation. After several days of rest, mild exercising has been found to shorten the recovery period.
Studies have shown that the most common causes of back pain include poor lifting technique, poor posture, improper exercising technique, poor posture during long periods of driving, lack of proper back support while sleeping, being out of physical shape and/or overweight and awkward or sudden movement. Improper lifting or lifting something that is too heavy accounts for 35 % of all back pains. These studies also tell us that most lower back pain or lumbago is transient and only lasts a short time with no serious damage occurring to the back. Even the more serious condition of a pinched nerve or slipped disc is very infrequent.
There are several medical causes of back pain ranging from a herniated disc to a deformed vertebrae joints. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative wear and tear on the cartilage between the back bones that leads to a painful rubbing of bone on bone. Sciatica is an extension or a herniated disc that causes compression or pinching of the sciatic nerve. Spinal stenosis causes a compression or pinching of the spinal cord or nerves as a result of a narrowing of the spinal canal. When one vertebrae slides over an adjacent one, the compression or pinching of the nerves in the area is a condition called spondylolisthesis. When the joints between two vertebrae become deformed and pinch a nerve, usually in the neck area, a condition called spondylosis develops.
Back pain researchers continue to try to understand who gets back pain and what are the best ways of preventing back pain.
“After about 2-3 days on the activation dose, I noticed reduced inflammation, and my pain in my leg reduced. I’m a believer that you ‘Can’t put a price on your health’.”
–Dan Monahan, England