Part 1 – Society’s pain in the back
Back pain has become a real pain in the back to society. Up to eighty per cent of Australians will experience back pain at some point in their lives and 10% will experience significant disability as a result. Back pain disrupts individuals’ quality of life and accounts for an enormous cost to the community. It is costing Australia billions each year in health care and time taken from work due to back pain.
The National Health Priority Areas (NHPAs) are diseases and conditions that the Australian government have chosen for focused attention because they contribute significantly to the burden of illness and injury in the Australian community. The 9 NHPA’s are:
- Cardiovascular health
- Injury prevention and control
- Mental Health
- Diabetes Mellitus
- Arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions.
Back pain is the most common condition in the bracket of “Arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions” as a NHPA. Interestingly, a staggering 14% of Australians (3.0 million) are affected by back problems, followed by 8% with osteoarthritis (1.8 million), 3% with osteoporosis (728,000) and 2% with rheumatoid arthritis (445,000) according to 2011-12 self-reported estimates. To read more visit http://www.aihw.gov.au/national-health-priority-areas/.
Back pain is a big issue and we need to do more about it.
Watch this space for the following blogs to this series:
- Part 2 – where does the pain come from?
- Part 3 – Causes and Symptoms
- Part 4 – Treatment.