One in six Wiganers suffers back pain, figures show, with a charity warning it can have a “devastating impact” on quality of life.
New analysis by Imperial College London shows 56,641 people in Wigan reported suffering from back pain in 2012: 18 per cent of the population, slightly higher than the English average of 17.
The data was collected from Public Health England’s Health Survey, and analysed by Imperial College for the charity Versus Arthritis.
Only people who were in pain at the time of the survey, and had been in pain for at least three months, were counted in the figures. That means the data is likely to be an underestimate of the prevalence of the condition, since acute bouts of back pain can be resolved within a three-month period.
More than 60 per cent of declared Wigan sufferers reported having severe pain: some 35,290 people.
Back pain is the largest single cause of disability in the UK, and about 80 per cent of adults will experience it at some point in their life.
A spokesperson for Versus Arthritis said: “Back pain can have a devastating impact on people’s lives, affecting their independence, mobility, and ability to stay in work.
Whilst there are currently a number of ways to manage this pain, such as physiotherapy and painkillers, the high prevalence highlights the need for more investment into treatments and better pain management techniques.
We urge anyone struggling to manage their pain to speak to a healthcare professional about the best options for them, or contact us for self-management advice.”