If You Suffer from Back Pain You’re Not Alone

According to the WebMD, almost 80% of people will suffer from back pain at least once during their lifetime. Most other sources use similar statistics. So, it’s fair to say that roughly 80% of the population has experienced back pain at some point in their lives.

Some 16 million adults — 8 percent of all adults — experience persistent or chronic back pain, and as a result are limited in certain everyday activities.

Back problems are among patients’ most frequent complaints to their doctors. Nearly 65 million Americans report a recent episode of back pain. Millions of adults experience persistent or chronic back pain. As a result, many have limited abilities for everyday activities.

Back pain is the sixth most costly condition in the United States. Health care costs and indirect costs due to back pain are over $12 billion per year.  Adults with back pain are more likely to use health care services than adults without back pain. Many of the indirect costs of the condition are related to missed days of work and disability payments. This profile uses the term “adults with back pain” to describe adults with persistent or chronic back pain.

Back Pain is a Leading Cause of Work-Loss Days


Some 83 million days of work are lost per year due to back pain.  Back pain is a leading cause of work-loss days as well as work limitations. Between 1998 and 2000 the number of back pain injuries that have involved time away from work has increased. This increase follows an almost 32 percent decrease from 1994 to 1998.

Among adults who are working, almost two-thirds – 64 percent – of those with back pain, compared to less than half – 45 percent – of those without back pain, have missed at least one day of work in the past year due to illness or injury. The proportion of workers who have missed many days of work is also much higher for those with back pain than for those without.

Back pain may also affect other activities. Adults with back pain spend almost 200 million days in bed a year.

Back Pain Affects Adults of All Ages and Incomes

Back Pain Affects Adults of All Ages and Incomes

In general, the characteristics of adults with back pain and the total adult population are not very different. Some differences between the two populations exist with respect to age and income, however. Some 41 percent of adults with back pain are 18 to 44 years old, compared to 54 percent of all adults. Slightly over one-quarter — 26 percent — of adults with back pain have an annual income of less than $20,000, compared to one-fifth of all adults.

One in Four Adults with Back Pain is in Fair to Poor Physical Health

Back pain comes in many forms and can last for a short time, or it can persist. The causes of this pain often originate from strain or even injury due to certain types of activity. Athletics, especially contact sports are a prominent result of such activity.  But simple falls (gravity is not a kind mistress) or even a bad night’s sleep can affect the spinal column. Neck pain can even be caused by a bad pillow.

One in Four Adults with Back Pain is in Fair to Poor Physical Health

Chronic back pain is different. It can begin in childhood. Even mild Scoliosis, which is an abnormal lateral curvature of the spine can lead to serious pain later in life.

Compared to adults without back pain, larger proportions of adults with any type of back pain report fair to poor mental and physical health. For example, the proportion of adults with back pain reporting fair to poor physical health — 25 percent — is more than double that of those without back pain — 11 percent. Source –

When You Need to Consult a Spine Specialist About Your Back Pain

Not all back pain requires surgery. Many treatment options are available. In fact, the definition of spine surgery has changed substantially over the past decade. Technology has become a staple when it comes to how we define treatment in the modern age.

Spine surgery was once a daunting and strenuous journey limiting motion. However, with motion sparing artificial disc replacement technology, robotically assisted navigation, enhanced microscopes, and newly found minimally invasive techniques; a patient may go home the same day as their procedure with a very quick recovery time.

Dr. Hamid Mir

Dr. Hamid Mir is a board-certified orthopedic spine surgeon with fellowship training in combined neuro and orthopedic spine surgery techniques. He has 15 years of experience in minimally invasive spine surgeries using advanced microscopic techniques.

P: (949) 688-1216 | F: (949) 988-7801