Have you read about the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global Burden of Disease (GBD) Study, last tweaked in 2013? As a medical professional, if you aren’t yet familiar with the GBD study, you should certainly take the time to learn more about it.
This time-based measure “combines years of life lost due to premature mortality and years of life lost due to time lived in states of less than full health (referred to as YLD),” explains WHO. This metric was developed in the original GBD 1990 study in order to “assess the burden of disease consistently across diseases, risk factors and regions.”
So, what were the results? Overall, the study noted that disease and injury were “highly prevalent” among the populations of the world and that only a very tiny fraction of the population surveyed had no conditions that were the consequence of a previous disease or injury (referred to as sequelae). The study concluded that, particularly due to the aging of the world’s population, there has been a “substantial” increase in the number of persons with sequelae of diseases and injuries.
More specifically, and of particular interest to chiropractors, physical therapists, spine surgeons, and others who consistently see patients suffering from back pain, the study observed that lower spine pain was one of the top ten causes of YLD, living life with a disability and at less than one’s full potential. Indeed, lower spine pain ranked right up there with depression, yet it hasn’t received nearly as much mainstream attention.
In Chapter 4 of WHO’s “World Health Report”, there is specific discussion about the high occurrence of back pain related both to work and to one’s personal life. Here’s what the study has to say:
“Low back pain is associated with many ergonomic stressors at work, including lifting and carrying of heavy loads, forceful movements, demanding physical work, whole-body vibration, frequent bending, twisting, and awkward postures. The factors leading to low back pain — physical, organizational and social factors at work, physical and social aspects of life outside the workplace, and physical and psychological characteristics of the individual — are complex and interrelated.
“High rates of low back pain are reported for special groups of workers, such as farmers, nurses, heavy equipment operators, and construction workers,” the report adds. “Although rarely life-threatening, low back pain causes much discomfort and can limit work, domestic, and recreational activities.”
Does this describe some (or many) of your patients? Chances are that it does. If so, do they understand why lower spine pain has become such a burden for them? If not, then perhaps you’re not doing all you need to do to help them grasp the particulars of the inner workings of their spine.
With the use of Dynamic Disc Design’s (ddd) many 3D fully-dynamic spine models, anyone burdened with lower spine pain can be educated as to the reason for their discomfort and can learn how to best relieve that pain so that they don’t become yet another YLD statistic in that WHO study. Sometimes, merely knowing the specifics of the cause of the back pain allows the patient to make the necessary changes or adjustments in their habits, lifestyle, and perhaps even their job…changes that might improve their health for years to come.
If you haven’t yet seen ddd’s amazing models, browse the company’s website for educational videos and detailed specifications on each product, then consider which ones will best help your patients conquer their debilitating spine pain.