Placing the global burden of low back pain in context

Rachelle Buchbinder, Fiona Blyth, Lyn March, Peter Brooks, Anthony Woolf, Damian G Hoy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

248 Citations (Scopus)


The latest Global Burden of Disease Study, published at the end of 2012, has highlighted the enormous global burden of low back pain. In contrast to the previous study, when it was ranked 105 out of 136 conditions, low back pain is now the leading cause of disability globally, ahead of 290 other conditions. It was estimated to be responsible for 58.2 million years lived with disability in 1990, increasing to 83 million in 2010. This chapter illustrates the ways that the Global Burden of Disease data can be displayed using the data visualisation tools specifically designed for this purpose. It also considers how best to increase the precision of future global burden of low back pain estimates by identifying limitations in the available data and priorities for further research. Finally, it discusses what should be done at a policy level to militate against the rising burden of this condition.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)575 - 589
Number of pages15
JournalBest Practice & Research: Clinical Rheumatology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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