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Chiropractic Research Review

U.S. Estimates of Musculoskeletal Conditions

While more and more patients rely on chiropractic to manage their non-musculoskeletal problems, treatment of musculoskeletal dysfunction continues to be a primary concern. This comprehensive data compilation provides estimates for the national prevalence of arthritis and selected musculoskeletal conditions:

* Low-back pain affects more than half (56%) of the adult population each year, and an estimated 15% report frequent back pain lasting two or more weeks at a time.

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* Overall, more than 26 million Americans age 20-64 (and almost six million age 65 and older) have frequent low-back pain.

* An estimated 40 million Americans suffer from some form of arthritis, and in the next 25 years that number could exceed 60 million (18.2% of the population).

* Spondyloarthropathy, particularly in the form of ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, or inflammatory bowel disease-associated arthritis, affects more than 400,000 Americans age 15 and older.

* Nearly four million cases of fibromyalgia will be diagnosed each year. The overall rate is approximately two percent and increases with age.

Arthritis and other musculoskeletal disorders can have a substantial impact on quality of life and the use of health care resources; they require accurate and responsible evaluation and management in the clinical setting. The widespread incidence of musculoskeletal conditions affecting the population underscores the value of chiropractic intervention.

Lawrence RC, Helmick CG, Arnett FC, et al. Estimates of the prevalence of arthritis and selected musculoskeletal disorders in the United States. Arthritis & Rheumatism, May 1998;41(5), pp778-99.

Chiropractic Research Review

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