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Canadians and Back Pain

Back pain affects people from all over the world. Whether they work at a desk, travel for business, or work on construction sites, the risk of back pain is high. Shockingly, it seems that most Canadians are at risk of serious back problems. It’s estimated that approximately 80% of all Canadians will experience back pain at some point in their lives, with some estimates ranging as high as 84%. In any given six month period, those rates are as high as 50%. Anywhere from 34 to 59% of Canadians will experience an acute or subacute back pain episode, while as much as 25% of the population is living with chronic back pain at any given time. These statistics are truly staggering.

It seems age plays a large factor in terms of those affected by back pain, which mostly seems to affect people between the ages of 30 and 50. This means that otherwise healthy people in the prime of their lives, and those building up their careers, are the most at risk. As such, back pain can severely hinder, or even completely derail, a thriving career if not treated properly.

Unfortunately, the evidence suggests that many people with back pain are not getting the appropriate help. In Canada, chronic low back pain is one of the most likely reasons for a trip to the doctor for people under the age of 60. However, the high frequency of back pain makes it likely that many people aren’t seeking out the medical attention necessary to nip their back pain in the bud.

“It seems that people are often times choosing to either live with back pain, or are delaying treatment until the pain becomes unbearable,” says Wendy Share, Executive Director at Share Lawyers. “Leaving back pain unattended to can result in irreparable damage, or at the very least severe damage that takes a long time to recover from. This means people are forced to apply for long-term disability in order to spend adequate time recovering and healing from their ailments. Often, our clients find their claims denied, which only exacerbates the situation.”

The medical expenses incurred as a result of back pain run anywhere from six to twelve billion dollars every year, which takes a large chunk out of the average Canadian wallet. This often leads Canadians to spend longer periods of time living with back pain, without medical attention.

As a result, education about preventive measures and treatment options for back pain is imperative. Sadly, there is no fool-proof way to avoid back pain entirely. The complicated nature of the spine and the statistics all indicate that back pain is inevitable. But taking steps to improve your habits will decrease the chances of an incident that may cause back pain, and also allow people to spot the issues before they become unmanageable.

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