Chronic Low Back Pain Is on the Rise

Doubling of rate in North Carolina may mimic rest of nation
Posted February 10, 2009

By Carolyn Colwell
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) — A North Carolina study finds that the rate of chronic low back pain has more than doubled in that state since the early 1990s — a statistic the authors say might reflect what’s happening in the country as a whole.

“We were actually surprised by what we found,” said Dr. Timothy S. Carey, a professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina and the study’s lead author.

He said his team knew that expenditures for medical services aimed at easing back pain have increased over the years. One theory for that rise has been that back pain sufferers are simply seeking more services.

But the researchers found another cause.

“A major reason for the increase in cost for back pain is not just that people are seeking a lot of care, but that there is a lot of back pain out there,” Carey said. “We may need to rethink our way of dealing with this problem.” More…

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