Low back pain (LBP) can affect all ages and is second after upper respiratory conditions as a cause for visiting a general practitioner, the fifth-ranking cause of admission to hospital, and has been reported as the third most common cause of surgical procedures in the U.S.A. (Andersson, 1999). LBP has been estimated as the largest single cause of absence from work in the U.K. and it is responsible for about 12.5% of all sick days (Frank, 1993).
An annual survey showed that consultation with GP’s for LBP was 417 per 10000 registered patients throughout the U.K. (Balagué et al., 2012) From these patients surveyed the lowest rate with LBP were between the ages of 0–14 years while the highest recorded incidences were between the ages of 45–64 years old. The highest risk factor associated to LBP was an incident of previous LBP. Other common factors related to the development of LBP include sex, occupation, job satisfaction, educational status, stress, anxiety, depression, social support in the workplace, body mass index, and family history of low back pain (Walker, 2000).
LBP is the most prevalent health issue forcing workers to retire prematurely, resulting in more people out of the workplace due to LBP than heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, neoplasm, respiratory disease, and asthma combined (Schofield et al., 2008).
Until recently it was suggested that minors and adolescents experienced little or no LBP unless associated with a serious life-threatening disorder. However, findings from a review of epidemiological studies carried out by Jeffries, Milanese, & Grimmer-Somers, (2007) challenge this. It is now accepted amongst healthcare practitioners that the prevalence of LBP in teenagers is similar to that in adults, further increasing the demand on health services (Jeffries et al., 2007). A review carried out by Hoy, Brooks, Blyth, & Buchbinder, (2010) reported 1-year incidences of first time, any time, and recurrent low back pain episodes ranging from 1.5% to 80%, and the 1-year prevalence of low back pain ranging from 0.8% to 82.5%.
If you are worried about low back pain, have an acute or chronic condition or need advise on managing your low back pain make an appointment today with our principal Osteopath Barry Harpur.
Barry Harpur is the principal Osteopath at Kinesis Clinic and doctorate researcher based at the University of Portsmouth specialising in low back pain assessment.