An unaccustomed movement, wrong lifting and carrying, overload or a wrong sleeping underlay – the reasons for non-specific back pain are manifold. Often, people concerned take pain killers or are treated surgically, for example a disc surgery.
Problems or pain in the back are one of the most common health risks of today’s industrialized countries. About 80 % of the population suffer under back pain at least once in their lifetime. In general, back pain is differentiated on basis of intensity of pain, the duration or degree of impairment. But, only 25 % of all people concerned seek medical advice. The course and the development of back pain often is accompanied resp. influenced by psycho-social influences. Due to the indirectly incurred costs back pain belongs to the most expensive reasons of illness. In Germany, in 2008 the costs reached 9 billions Euro (Federal Statistical Office 2010); 85 % of these costs are due to loss of production. Only 15 % represent the costs of medical treatment.
According to the German Medical Report 2015 hospital stays due to lumbar back pain have increased by 50 % in the last eight years. Lumbar back pain includes all pains in the lower back (lumbar spine). Here, almost every third patient with back problems is treated surgically. In comparison to 2006 the number of patients treated with pain therapy by means of injection increased by 40 %.
With the help of the supply epidemiology analysis, elevation of the supply strategy as well as written survey of patients in the period from 2006 to 2014 all relevant data have been collected and compiled. In the year 2013 the evaluation resulted in about 400,000 hospital stays due to lumbar back pain (extrapolated to the total population of Germany). With more than 41 % of all patients the main cause “back pain” has been diagnosed, about 37 % had problems with their intervertebral discs as well as spondylopathia (about 20 %). About one third of all patients neither were surgically treated nor treated with pain killers. The rest either had surgery or were treated with an interventional or multimodal pain therapy.
In the course of the survey, 2,496 patients were contacted by the “Barmer GEK Versicherung” and in the end 914 persons participated in the survey. The result: patients suffering under back pain have often got outpatient treatment; here, every fourth person got the diagnosis “depression”. More than 15 % have been prescribed anti-depressants. Furthermore, the study revealed that after 1.5 years after the hospital stay only one third of the patients are without pain. About 48 % of the patients treated surgically and about every fourth person with an interventional pain therapy are pain-free.
Dr. Christoph Straub, CEO of the Barmer GEK Versicherung, recognizes a clear erroneous trend in the development of the last years. He argues that treatment should begin much earlier so that patients don’t become inpatients.
For people concerned, back pain is not only painful but also disturbs healthy sleep. “There is no miracle cure”, so sleeping expert Prof. Dr. med. h.c. Günther W. Amann-Jennson, “but pains can be eased and sleeping quality can be remarkably improved. Here, the proper sleeping system plays a key-role. Surveys repeatedly show that you are using an improper sleeping underlay when you wake up tired and not well rested.” An orthopedically and anatomically correct sleeping underlay can prevent from resp. ease back problems.
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Federal Statistical Office: https://www.destatis.de/DE/Publikationen/StatistischesJahrbuch/StatistischesJahrbuch2010.pdf?__blob=publicationFile
German Medical Report: https://presse.barmer-gek.de/barmer/web/Portale/Presseportal/Subportal/Infothek/Studien-und-Reports/Report-Krankenhaus/Krankenhausreport-2015/Report-Krankenhaus-2015.html
Supply epidemiology analysis: http://presse.barmer-gek.de/barmer/web/Portale/Presseportal/Subportal/Presseinformationen/Archiv/2015/150721-Report-Krankenhaus/PDF-Report-Krankenhaus-2015,property=Data.pdf
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