Americans in Pain: Part 2

What Causes Our Back Pain?


Back Pain FaceQuestion 1
What do you believe is the #1 cause of Americans' back and neck problems?

Possible Answers

  • Heredity / Genetics: We're pre-disposed to back and neck problems.
  • Lack of exercise: We aren't in shape, so our spines are more prone to injuries, strains, and sprains.
  • Obesity: The rate of obesity is increasing, and extra weight can lead to or intensify back problems.
  • Work: Many jobs involve activities that can hurt our spines, including sitting at a computer all day or heavy lifting.
  • Age: Especially as the Baby Boomers age, it seems that age-related back problems, such as osteoporosis, are becoming more prevalent.
  • Inadequate health care system: Lack of universal health coverage means that people can't always go to the doctor when they need to. A small back or neck problem that could've been caught early snowballs into a bigger problem.
  • Other


pie chart; democractic survey results of #1 causes of back and neck problems in Americans

pie chart; republican survey results of #1 causes of back and neck problems in Americans

Republicans and Democrats agreed: the #1 cause of back and neck pain in America is work. 31% of Democrats said work was the leading cause of back and neck pain, while 40% of Republicans said that work is a pain in the spine.

Too many of us have "bad for the back" jobs. We sit at computers all day. We do a lot of heavy lifting. We strain, twist, slump, and hunch all the live long day.

Our backs pay for it. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow. But perhaps soon and perhaps for the rest of our lives.

That's a slightly melodramatic statement, but the sentiment is right. In the 40+ hours you spend at work every week, you should be consciously taking care of your spine, whether you're Joe the Plumber or Jane the Accountant.

So, America, let's try:

Now look back at those pie charts. There's an interesting comparison (and it will become even more interesting after you read the answers to Question 2). 20% of Democrats said that America's inadequate health care system is the #1 cause of back and neck pain. Compare that to the Republicans-health care barely gets a piece of the pie. Just 1% of Republicans said that the health care system is to blame.

Updated on: 08/18/15
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Americans in Pain: Part 3
Continue Reading:

Americans in Pain: Part 3

Survey results: America should invest in more research in order to prevent back and neck pain. Other ideas include universal health coverage (that's what Democrats think would fix our backs) and encouraging weight loss (so say Republicans).
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