Back pain will affect nearly 80% of Americans at some point in their lifetime, and as anyone who has dealt with back pain can tell you, it can be impossible to work effectively during a bad back pain episode. So it’s no real surprise to learn that this and other pain syndromes cost companies significantly in lost productivity. The Journal of the American Medical Association published a study back in 2003 that estimated that common pain conditions – including back pain, headaches, arthritis, and other musculoskeletal pain – cost companies more that $61 billion per year in reduced productivity. In that study, the authors found that the problem was not people staying home from work to recover, but the fact that they were able to work at only a reduced capacity.
A new study looked at the effects of chronic back pain on European workers. The Pain Proposal European Consensus Report, which was sponsored by the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, found that among a study group of over 2,000 pain sufferers in 15 European countries, 61% reported that their pain directly affected their employment status in some way, with 21% stating that chronic pain led to total unemployment. The study points to a lack of awareness and proper health channels for people dealing with chronic pain, and suggests that by focusing efforts on the treatment of these chronic conditions, the cost savings can be tremendous.
Want to learn more about chiropractic solutions to chronic back pain for the office or workplace? This video on the website of Dr. Carl Heusler in New Carrollton, MD gives a good introduction.