Back pain is a huge source of morbidity in the general population and can result in catastrophic outcomes, especially if prompt and appropriate treatment is not initiated. Approximately 10% of the adult population has neck pain at any one point in time. This prevalence is similar to that of low back pain, but fewer than 1% of neck pain patients develop neurologic deficits and few lose time from work. Thoracic complains are less common than cervical or lumbar but can still be disabling. Lumbar pain results in substantial economic and psychosocial costs. It is second only to the common cold as a cause of industrial absenteeism and is the primary cause of reduced working capacity.
Acknowledgements: Natalie Mamen, MD (Author)