Back pain is becoming a big problem across the globe.
A lot of people are hurting. By 2050, experts predict that over 843 million people will have back pain.
That’s a lot of sore backs! This number is getting bigger because our population is growing and getting older.
The Biggest Health Concern
Here’s something you might not know. Back pain is the top reason people can’t do their daily tasks worldwide. This is a major concern for health professionals.
The way we deal with back pain doesn’t always work well. Plus, we don’t have many options to treat it. This is worrying because if we don’t find better ways to help, we could face a healthcare crisis.
Australia’s Struggle with Back Pain
Australia is one place where back pain is a growing problem. By 2050, almost half more Australians will have back pain than they do now.
It’s a similar story in other parts of the world. Asia and Africa are also set to see a big jump in people with back pain.
The Latest Research
This important information comes from a study published in The Lancet Rheumatology. The study, led by Professor Manuela Ferreira, used data from over 30 years.
She works at the University of Sydney and is a part of Sydney Musculoskeletal Health. Professor Ferreira warns that we need to be better at dealing with back pain. She suggests we need a plan that everyone follows.
Some Surprising Findings
This study has shown us some interesting things. Did you know that since 2017, more than half a billion people have had low back pain? In 2020, there were around 619 million cases of back pain. That’s a lot of pain!
One-third of back pain issues are because of work, smoking, and being overweight. Some people think that back pain is a problem just for adults who work.
But this isn’t true. The study shows that older people and women are more likely to have low back pain.
The Need for More Data
The researchers behind the study have done a great job. But they also note that we need more information, especially from poorer countries.
Right now, most of our data comes from rich countries. So, we need to know more about back pain in places where people don’t earn as much.
Looking to the Future
This study is the first of its kind. It uses lots of data to guess how many people will have back pain in the future. Professor Anthony Woolf, from the Global Alliance for Musculoskeletal Health, says we need to do more.
We need better ways to stop back pain before it starts. And we need to make sure that people can get help when they need it.
The Need for Better Treatment
Some experts have suggested changes to how we deal with back pain. For example, they say we should encourage people to exercise and learn more about their backs.
But since these suggestions were made, not much has changed. Right now, some common treatments for back pain might not work. These include some types of surgery and pain medication.
A Call to Action
Professor Ferreira points out that doctors and other health workers don’t all deal with back pain the same way. This needs to change.
For example, she says older people often get strong pain medication for back pain. But this can cause problems with other medications they might be taking.
If we don’t do anything, back pain can lead to other serious health problems. These include diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and mental health conditions.
It can also lead to the need for serious medical procedures and severe disability. So it’s clear, we need to act now to tackle the rising threat of back pain.
If you care about pain, please read studies that 1 in 3 people with chronic pain turn to marijuana, and powerlifting is an effective exercise for chronic low back pain.
For more information about wellness, please see recent studies that Krill oil could improve muscle health in older people, and eating yogurt linked to lower frailty in older people.
The study was published in The Lancet Rheumatology.
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