Ouch: Just 1 in 5 ‘will ever shake off their back pain’

Daily Mail - - News - By Vic­to­ria Allen Science Cor­re­spon­dent by the Krem­bil Re­search In­sti­tute in Canada, con­cludes that other experts may have got it wrong in sug­gest­ing back pain will ‘re­solve in the vast ma­jor­ity of cases’. Al­most one in five peo­ple in their study suf­fere

IT is bad news for the many af­flicted by the agony of back pain. Whichever treat­ments they try – such as heat pads, chi­ro­prac­tic treat­ments or er­gonomic chairs – only one in five can ex­pect to re­cover.

A study has found that only 20 per cent of suf­fer­ers see their symp­toms go away.

Re­searchers who fol­lowed al­most 13,000 peo­ple over 16 years found the ma­jor­ity of suf­fer­ers had per­sis­tent or re­cur­ring back pain which they could not de­feat. The study, at some point in their lives and is the largest sin­gle cause of dis­abil­ity in Bri­tain, caus­ing one in eight sick days.

Dr May­ilee Canizares, who led the study, said: ‘The bad news was that one in five ex­pe­ri­enced per­sis­tent back pain, with an ad­di­tional group – al­most one in three – who de­vel­oped back pain over time. These two groups were as­so­ci­ated with greater pain lim­it­ing ac­tiv­ity, dis­abil­ity, and de­pres­sion, as well as in­creased med­i­ca­tion use.’

Peo­ple with phys­i­cally de­mand­ing jobs were more likely to suf­fer back pain, but also more likely to re­cover from it.

The study warns back pain can have a last­ing ef­fect, even af­ter peo­ple have ap­par­ently got bet­ter. Dr Canizares said: ‘The good news is that one in five re­cov­ered – how­ever, they con­tin­ued to use [painkillers] and an­tide­pres­sants, sug­gest­ing that peo­ple re­cov­er­ing from back pain need on­go­ing mon­i­tor­ing.’

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