Over 26 million Americans between ages 20 and 64 experience chronic back, joint or neck pain. Globally, there are over 1.5 billion patients who live with chronic, shooting pain each day. Back and neck pain can cripple and debilitate people if left unchecked; back pain for instance is the number one cause for disability in Americans under the age of 45. Here’s what you need to know about back, neck, and joint pain and how to find relief.
The National Institute of Health Statistics had a survey to find the four most common types of pain in the United States. Number one was back pain with 27% of respondents, next tied headache/migraine pain and neck pain which each accounted for 15% of pain, last was facial aches and pain which is common in just 4% of those polled. According to expert analyses, nearly 80% of the population will struggle with chronic pain at some point in their lives. In trying to relieve their pain, Americans have spent at least $50 billion dollars per year on pain treatment options. Today more options are available than ever to find neck, back, or joint relief.
Nearly 19.1 million Americans consulted with an expert on managing their pain in 2007: women sought medical treatment more readily than men, as 10.9 million women found professional help relative to only 8.2 million men. Many experts will attempt to localize and treat the pain using physical therapy and or regular exercises to encourage muscle development. If this does not work, drug therapy may be used in conjunction with physical therapy before surgical options are considered. A variety of medications and supplements from NSAIDs and acetaminophen to narcotics and even anti-depressants have been known to relieve chronic pain.
New innovations in back and neck surgery reduces the amount of time in recovery, so patients can go on and live their lives in comfort. A minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) requires the surgeon to make one or more small “keyhole” incisions less than 1 inch wide deepening on the procedure. Spinal surgeons who use minimally invasive back and neck surgery see patients return home the same day with a total recovery time of only 3 to 5 days. Thanks to these developments, more and more people can live their lives to the fullest!