Chronic Back Pain in America:
Survey Results

Chronic Pain Demographics

Statistical snapshot includes race, residence, education, income, and employment status

From mid-August 2013 through October, 764 qualified participants completed the Chronic Back Pain in America survey. All are residents of the United States. Approximately, 67% were female and 33% were male. Forty percent (40%) were aged 40 to 54 and 37% were 55 to 64. Patients aged 65 to older than 75 years was about 16%. Patients between the ages of 25 to 39 made up about 7% of the survey completers.

Race: Approximately 90% of respondents were Caucasian, 4% Black/African American, and 4% Hispanic/Latino.

Residence: With the exception of Hawaii, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington DC, and Wyoming, results from all states were obtained.

  • The states with the greatest percent of patients with chronic back pain were Florida (9%) and California (8%).
  • Forty percent (40%) live in suburban areas, 31% in a city, and 29% in rural regions.

Education: Approximately 24% reported some college, 20% a Bachelor or equivalent, 16% an Associate or equivalent, 16% high school, about 13% Master or equivalent, and 8% technical school.

Income: Twenty-nine percent (29%, blue section) indicated an annual household income of less than $25,000.

Work Type: The responses included current or past work performed. "Other" included a wide variety of employment and included accountant, artist, driver, firefighter, and rug tufter.

Employment Status: Thirty percent are retired, 25% work full-time, 18% collect disability, 6% work part-time, 4% are on medical leave, and 15% reported "other." Two percent (2%) are full-time or part-time students that work, or volunteers.

  • Of the 15% that reported "other" as their work status, 52% cannot get disability, are filing for disability, refiling for disability, waiting for disability, or on disability.

"Sick" Days: During the past 12 months, 255 survey participants reported chronic back pain as a cause of missed time from work. Sixty-three percent (63%) missed up to 5 days, 16% up to 10 days, 5% up to 15 days, and 15% more than 15 days.

Job Loss: Approximately 55% of 399 survey respondents answered "yes" to the question, "Did you lose a job because of chronic back pain?" Of the jobs lost, 88% were full-time and 12% were part-time.

Discrimination: Thirty-one percent (31%, n=764) indicated they think they were discriminated against because of their chronic back pain, 46% replied "no," and 23% indicated "maybe."

Updated on: 03/05/14
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Causes of Chronic Back Pain Summarized
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Causes of Chronic Back Pain Summarized

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