Low back pain is one of the most frequent and common conditions among Americans, and it is estimated that as many as 70% of Americans will experience lower back pain at some point in their lives. New research indicates that many of those cases of lower back pain will progress into full on disability.
The findings of the study were published recently in the Journal of Pain, the publication of the American Pain Society. The study that was conducted by researchers at the Arthritis of the Arthritis Research UK primary care center evaluated 480 patients, who were treated for lower back pain. They were looking at the kind of factors that predicted disability and chronic pain five years down the line.
They found that baseline pain intensity was associated with a 12% greater risk of developing chronic pain six months later. When patients believed that the pain would persist and become chronic, the risk of chronic long-term pain increased by 4%. The researchers found that 5 years into the study, persons who reported baseline pain intensity showed a 9% increase in chronic pain, and persons who believed that the pain would persist had a 6% increased risk for chronic pain.
These findings are very important, because chronic pain can be a major cause of disability, and a major factor in Social Security Disability benefits. Any kind of pain that progresses beyond six months is considered chronic pain. The pain can be in any part of the body, but is usually in the head, neck, joints, back, knee, and other areas of the body. There may be no medical explanation for the pain, but its effect on the person’s ability to live a normal life cannot be disputed.
M. Stanley Whitehead is a Houston Social Security disability benefits lawyer, committed to representing persons who have had their disability claims rejected, and helping them recover the benefits that are rightfully theirs. If you have had your Social Security claim denied, contact me for a free consultation.