According to the latest version of the Global Burden of Disease study people are living longer than ever… but unfortunately, not necessarily better. The study, which was published this week in The Lancet and conducted by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, uses a metric called “Disability Adjusted Life Years.” DALYs is a measure of overall disease burden, expressed as the number of years lost due to ill-health, disability or early death. As you can see in the chart below, low back and neck pain are ranked 2nd as a leading cause of disability, only after heart disease!
While this phenomenon illustrates that we are getting better at fighting contagious diseases, it’s clear we still have a long way to go when it comes to managing musculoskeletal conditions.
Neck and Back Pain Study
In an article published in the Atlantic, journalist Olga Khazan interviewed Theo Vos, a professor of global health at the University of Washington and an author of the Global Burden study. He is quoted, saying “We don’t really know what to do about it [back pain]. There aren’t good treatments for it…” “…and some of the things that people use to try to manage it—like prescription opioids—have only morphed into health crises in their own right.”
If you are experiencing neck or back pain and would like to try a conservative, drug-free approach to healthcare, give our office a call at (973) 635-2605 to schedule an appointment at Active Care Wellness Center to see if chiropractic treatment is right for you.