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Back pain is top cause of disability worldwide

Back pain is so common, you might be experiencing it as you read this. If not you, perhaps your spouse has back problems, or a sibling or offspring. It seems as if everyone knows at least one person, and often more than one, struggling with back pain.

Newark media is reporting that researchers are now saying that lower back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and that as people live longer, it will cause more problems in the years ahead.

The study to be published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases states that governments will be forced to focus more on the problems of back pain in coming decades. 

Researchers looked at health data from 187 countries, gathered in three specific years: 1990, 2005 and 2010.

The researchers looked at, among other things, how many years people in different regions live with disability due to lower back pain and other ailments. Out of 291 medical conditions analyzed, low back pain topped the list in numbers of years lost to the disability.  

In more than half of the world’s regions, it was the top contributor to disability, with nearly one in 10 people suffering from lower back pain.

The parts of the world where the problem is most prevalent: Western Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. Least prevalent: Caribbean and Latin America.

No matter where a person lives, the frequency and impact of the problem increases with age, researchers said, noting that "the number of people living with low back pain will increase substantially over coming decades."

For those unable to continue working because of back problems, SSDI can provide critical financial assistance. An experienced attorney can help applicants with the complex appeals process that is so often a part of getting a benefits claim approved.

Source: Medical News Today, "Global burden of disability highest for low back pain," Marie Ellis, March 25, 2014

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