Back Pain Remains a Leading Health Concern in 2023

As a small business owner, I understand firsthand how detrimental back pain can be for productivity. My employees have dealt with lost days and earnings due to back injuries. The latest statistics on this global health issue highlight why it requires more medical and workplace attention.

Back Pain Rates Are Staggering

  • Recent surveys across 195 countries found over 1 billion people have back pain yearly – a 60% increase since 1990 [1].
  • In America, around 65 million adults state back pain impacts their daily routine [2].
  • Over 37 million Americans admit their back pain results in disability preventing work [3].

Table 1: Percentage of Americans Reporting Back Pain in 2023

Pain Duration % Reporting Back Pain
Within 3 months 28%
Within 6 months 33%
Within 1 year 43%

As these statistics show, back pain remains a highly prevalent condition in America. My employees echo this – at least 2-3 suffer from back pain each year, resulting in Leave of Absence.

Back Pain Has Long-Term Effects if Untreated

Seeing children present with back pain concerns me about long-lasting impacts:

  • About 50% of teens admit to recurrent back pain according to studies [4].
  • Research links adolescent back pain to adult spine issues later in life [5].
  • Spine experts state pediatric back pain was ~100 per 100,000 children in 2000 but expected to double by 2032 [6].

I often advise my employee-parents to proactively treat back pain in their families. Preventative care from a young age helps avoid permanent damage and lost livelihoods.

Women and Manual Laborers Face Higher Risk

In my experience managing a factory, female and male employees have distinct pain patterns:

  • Pregnancy: over 35 million pregnant women yearly seek care for back pain [7].
  • Work Duties: heavy lifting and repetitive motions increase injury risk. In 2016, over ~691,000 workplace back injuries involved lost days [8].
  • Gender: globally, adult women are 1.2-1.9x more likely to report back pain than men [9].

I now provide specialized equipment accommodating weight and height differences to prevent back strains. Small changes make big impacts on wellbeing!

Conclusion: Prioritizing Back Health Protects Livelihood

These statistics showcase why back pain remains a pressing medical and social issue entering 2023. Through workplace policies fostering prevention and treatment, we can safeguard employee health. As small business owners, staying informed on local back pain trends allows us to better support the workforce enabling our enterprises.


[1] Annals of Rheumatic Disease 2022.
[2] North American Spine Society 2023
[3] JAMA 2020
[4] Pediatric Rheumatology 2018
[5] European Spine Journal 2017
[6] Pediatric Physical Therapy 2012
[7] University of Michigan Research 2021
[8] Bureau of Labor Statistics 2018
[9] Arthritis Care & Research 2011