Published 3/1/2007

Facts about backs

  • 30 percent of Americans experience back pain on any given day
  • 80 percent of Americans will experience back problems at some time in their lives
  • The overall cost of back pain in direct medical charges and lost productivity is estimated to be between $30 billion and $70 billion a year in the United States
  • In 2004, there were 32 million physician visits and nearly 1.3 million hospitalizations for back conditions
  • Back pain is the most frequent cause of activity limitation in people younger than age 45 years

What is Level 1 evidence?

To meet the highest level of evidence (level I), a therapeutic study investigating the results of treatment must be a high quality randomized clinical trial with statistically significant difference or no statistically significant difference but narrow confidence intervals.