Obesity is a pain in the neck… and the back. It’s not just a concern for long-term life or death health issues, but it also affects your day-to-day functions. Among the many side effects of being heavy, one of the more pressing issues is low back pain.
According to researchers, the percentage of people in North Carolina suffering from chronic low back pain has more than doubled since the early ’90s (from 3.9% in 1992 to 10.2% in 2006). They see the state as a mirror image of the nation as a whole.
The pain is not only agonizing to deal with each day, but the problems resonate even further. That is, you’re less productive.
“Low back pain is the second most common cause of disability in the United States and a common reason for lost work days,” says Janet Freburger, PhD, PT, of the University of North Carolina.
Total costs of the condition are expected to exceed $100 billion annually, two-thirds of that from decreased wages and productivity.
“Discerning whether the prevalence of this condition is increasing and contributing to the increase in the use of health care services is vital for developing strategies to contain costs and improve care,” says Freburger.