Spine Community News: The medical science journal, The Lancet, published 3 papers and an editorial about the importance of low back pain as a major problem around the world. In an editorial written by Clark and Horton, the authors highlight this worldwide clinical problem that is getting worse as we increase in population that is growing older.1 All age groups are affected and are associated with sedentary occupations, smoking, obesity, and low socioeconomic status. This results in disability that has increased by 50% since 1990. The chance for improvement is limited since individuals in all socioeconomic classes are becoming more sedentary.
Back pain is a complex clinical complaint that is affected by psychological, social, and biophysical factors. The articles highlight the lack or research on the prevention of back pain. Another call to action is a plea for global health organizations like the World Health Organization to take action in reducing the increasing costly effects of disabling back pain and the use of inappropriate treatments, such as the prescribing of opioids, which tend to be inadequate in the treatment of chronic low back pain. A review of these papers will appear over the coming months.
Clark S, Horton R: Low Back Pain: a major global challenge. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/50140-6736(18)30725-6
David Borenstein, MD
Executive Editor TheSpineCommunity.com
Reference: Clark S, Horton R: Low Back Pain: a major global challenge. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/50140-6736(18)30725-6