Back pain in the UK | MediSpera
Almost 1 in 6 people suffer from back pain in the UK, so that’s close to 10 million people. That’s a lot of people walking round, almost daily, with back pain in the UK, impacting their quality of life. As you can imagine, it’s hard to concentrate on work when you’re in pain. It’s also very difficult to exercise when all you want to do is to find a comfortable position to be in and then stay in it. Under these conditions, exercise is out of the question. But if we do not exercise, our condition can actually worsen as we put on weight.
The TUC (Trades Union Congress) reported that British businesses lose an estimated 4.9 million days to employee absenteeism through work-related back pain in the UK. Interestingly, people in the North East of England suffer more than the rest of the UK, with 2% of its working population suffering from back pain. Affected employees take an average of 19 days off per annum at a considerable cost to the employer, especially small businesses. This figure has further been quantified by the exchequer to be in the region of £5billion per annum! It’s not actually clear what the total cost is because not everyone in pain is actually in the workforce.
One can imagine how this puts a huge burden on the NHS, as well as on businesses from lost work days, and on UK plc. All these people walking round with lower back pain in the UK has to be costing us dearly. Sure there are ways to reduce the numbers of people suffering from this condition.
So what can we do about it? We can each take responsibility for our health and overall fitness. It’s not rocket science. Keeping fit and exercising can have a major impact on our health, including on our backs and joints pain. Losing weight often helps to reduce lower back pain and pain in the joints. Weight in our middle section can put a lot of strain on our lower back and knees.
To prevent back pain, core strengthening is particularly useful. Pilates and yoga are also well known tools for strengthening backs and for keeping joints relatively supple. If you have a sore back, always consult your GP or other health professional before embarking on an exercise programme that involves the painful areas. By joining a pilates and/or yoga group at your local gym or community centre you will be able to keep your back muscles strong to help to avoid a relapse. If necessary, ask your GP for a referral to an NHS physio before joining the gym, to find out which exercises you should avoid and which are most beneficial for your specific condition.
Muscles in spasm can be helped by going for daily walks at a pace which is neither too slow nor too fast, but rather, at a comfortable pace. If you can manage it, you should aim for 1-2 miles per day to help to relax the muscle, followed by a hot bath.
In many cases, depending on the actual cause of your back or neck pain, spinal traction can help to rapidly rehabilitate your neck and back. See our products section for more information on our non-invasive neck and back pain treatment devices using mobile traction.