The cost of back pain
The NHS spends per year more than £1 billion on back pain related costs, this includes:
£512 million on hospital costs for back pain patients.
£141 million on GP consultations for back pain.
£150.6 million on physiotherapy treatments for back pain. (2)
In the private health care sector £565 million is spent on back pain every year. (2)
This brings the health care costs for back pain to a total of £1.6 billion per year. (2)
In addition there are other (indirect) costs. The Health and Safety Executive estimates that musculoskeletal disorders, which includes back pain costs UK employers between £590 million and £624 million per year. (3)
These costs are yet still insignificant compared to the cost of informal care and the losses related to it, which total £10.668 billion. (2)
The total cost of back pain corresponds to between 1% and 2% of gross national product (GP). (4) Other European countries report similar high costs; back pain related costs in The Netherlands in 1991 were more than 4 billion euro. For Sweden in 1995 this was more than 2 billion euro. (5)
Nearly 5 million working days were lost as a result of back pain in 2003-04. This means that on any one day 1% of the working population are on sickness leave due to a back problem. (6)
Back pain is the number 2 reason for long term sickness in much of the UK. In manual labour job, back pain is the number one reason. (7)
Benefits of early intervention not only include the likelihood of employees making a sooner recovery, but also makes it cost effective to the employer as absenteeism will drop. Indeed the costs to companies are huge, and can be due to legal fees, compensation, loss of customer satisfaction resulting from poorer service due to absenteeism and much more. Happy Health Clinics can help get your employees back to work.
For more information on how we can benefit your business call us now on 0800 121 6633
- Palmer KT, Walsh K, et al. Back pain in Britain : comparison of two prevalence surveys at an interval of 10 years BMJ 2000;320:1577-1578.
- Maniadakis A, Gray A. The economic burden of back pain in the UK. Pain 2000;84:95-103
- The cost of accidents at work, HS(G)96 2nd Edition, HMSO 1997.
- Norlund Al & Waddell G. Cost of back pain in some OECD countries. In: Nachemson AL, Jonsson E(eds). Neck and back pain: The scientific evidence of causes, diagnosis and treatment. Philadelphia: Lippencott, Williams & Wilkins, 2000.
- Van Tulder M. Chapter 1: Introduction. Eur Spine J 2006; 15(suppl 2):S134-S135.
- Back Health st work. HSE 2005
- Department for work and Pensions, 2002