Lower back pain continues to be mistreated in UK

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back pain diagnosis, back pain statistics, arthritis digest magazineLower back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide, affecting around 540 million people at any one time. But the condition is often mistreated, against best practice treatment guidelines, says evidence in The Lancet.

In the UK, low back pain was the top cause of years lived with disability in both 1990 and 2010, with a 12% increase over this time, so the problem is getting worse. Low back pain:

  • Accounts for 11% of the entire disability burden from all diseases in the UK;
  • Cost the NHS £2.1 billion in 2008;
  • Cost UK society £10.7 billion in 2008 (factoring in work loss and informal care).

“We need to redirect funding away from ineffective or harmful tests and treatments and towards approaches that promote physical activity and function,” says Prof Nadine Foster, one of the lead authors. “We also need to intensify further research of promising new approaches such as redesigning patient pathways of care and interventions that support people to function and stay at work.”

For more in-depth features, interviews and information, subscribe to Arthritis Digest magazine, a popular title that’s published six times a year. Click here for the digital version or tel 0845 643 8470 to order your had copy. You’ll know what your doctor is talking about, what new drugs are in the pipeline and be up to date on helpful products.

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“As we are all living longer, it gives us hope for a future with less pain. Arthritis Digest gives us information on the up to date treatments.”Mrs Healey, Devon
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