Almost everyone will have low back pain at some point in their lives. It can affect anyone at any age, and it is increasing—disability due to back pain has risen by more than 50% since 1990.
Low back pain is becoming more prevalent in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs) much more rapidly than in high-income countries. The cause is not always clear, apart from in people with, for example, malignant disease, spinal malformations, or spinal injury.
Treatment varies widely around the world, from bed rest, mainly in LMICs, to surgery and the use of dangerous drugs such as opioids, usually in high-income countries.
”Focusing on key principles, such as the need to reduce unnecessary health care for low back pain, support people to be active and stay at work, and reform unhelpful patient clinical pathways and reimbursement models, could guide next steps..”