If you live with chronic neck or back pain, I don't have to tell you that you're dealing with more than just the pain. Most likely your ability to work, to have fun, and to generally feel good is diminished, if not altogether lost.
And pain is the same all over the globe.
Take Iceland, for example. A recently published study (in the Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology) surveyed 5906 Icelandic adults and found that almost 20% (19.9% to be exact) of them had neck, back and/or fibromyalgia pain. The researchers also found that more women had pain than men. If you like to keep score, it breaks down like this:
- Men 15.2%
- Women 24.7%
The researchers also found that the issues most closely associated with study participants' pain were:
- deficient energy
- muscular discomfort
- limited mobility
- lifting groceries
- climbing stairs
The researchers concluded that chronic pain is prevalent in the Icelandic population, and that it is often coupled with general ill health and functional limitation.
Related: Back Pain Facts and Statistics
If you're one of the 20% and you're asking "why me", check out this quote from C.S. Lewis:
Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.
Björnsdóttir S, Jónsson S, Valdimarsdóttir U. Functional limitations and physical symptoms of individuals with chronic pain. Scand J Rheumatol. 2012 Nov 6. [Epub ahead of print]