The Global Burden of Disease Study
A recent series of studies spearheaded by the World Health Organization present a disappointing irony: while we’ve done a tremendous job battling fatal illnesses, we are now living with more health problems that cause permanent pain, impair our mobility, and decrease our quality of life.
According to the Global Burden of Disease Study, alhough infectious diseases, maternal and pediatric illnesses, and malnutrition cause fewer deaths and less disability today than they did twenty years ago, there remains a pressing worldwide need to prevent and treat musculoskeletal disorders, particularly neck and back pain.
The massive collaborative research effort between the WHO and several prominent international universities identifies low back pain as the leading cause of disability worldwide and neck pain as the number four cause worldwide.
The studies emphasize that musculoskeletal conditions are playing an increasingly larger role in the global burden of disease compared to just a few decades ago, and while more people are living longer, they do so with the increased likelihood of living with the burden of permanent pain and disability compared to previous generations.
Musculoskeletal disorders such as neck and low back pain affect approximately 1.7 billion people worldwide and have a greater impact on world health than AIDS, tropical diseases, respiratory infections, stroke, breast and lung cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, depression, natural disasters and neurological diseases.
Musculoskeletal disorders account for 21.3% of years lived with disability (YLD’s), with low back pain accounting for nearly half of all YLD’s due to a musculoskeletal condition.
Individually, low back pain is the sixth biggest contributor to the global disease burden, and has more impact on global health than malaria, COPD, tuberculosis, diabetes or lung cancer. Neck pain comes in 21st in the same measure.
The study estimates that, worldwide, 632 million people are disabled due to low back pain and 332 million people are disabled due to neck pain.
Dr. Scott Haldeman, chairman of the Bone and Joint Decade Task Force on Neck Pain and Its Associated Disorders, noted that the study “provides indisputable evidence that musculoskeletal conditions are an enormous and emerging problem in all parts of the world and need to be given the same priority for policy and resources as other major conditions like cancer, mental health and cardiovascular disease.”
The Benefit of Chiropractic Care
Chiropractic care has been proven time and again to be one of the treatment of choice for the correction of low back or neck pain. In fact, chiropractic manipulation has proven to be so effective for musculoskeletal disorders that a 1993 report issued by the University of Ontario found chiropractic care of back and neck pain to be superior to all forms of traditional medical treatment in safety, effectiveness, cost, and patient satisfaction.
Gentle, precise care from a chiropractor at Ascent Chiropractic offers patients an effective and drugless means of preventing, decreasing, and in many cases eliminating the cause of pain. An ounce of prevention is worth a hundred pounds of cure when it comes to your spine, so if you’re suffering from any kind of musculoskeletal disorder and looking for a Brookfield chiropractor call us today at 262-345-4166 or make an appointment online.
Horton R, et al. GBD 2010: Understanding disease, injury and risk. The Lancet 380(9859), 2053-2054.
Murray CJL, et al. UK health performance: findings of the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. The Lancet 381(9871), 997-1020.