Chronic Spinal Pain and Financial Worries in the US Adult Population

Haiou Yang, PhD; Scott Haldeman, DC, MD, PhD, FRCP(C), FAAN

Disclosures

Spine. 2020;45(8):528-533. 

In This Article

Results

The mean age of the study population was 47.5 of years, 48.2% was men, and 64.9% were Non-Hispanic White. The prevalence of low back pain and neck pain was 11.6%, and for low back pain and/or neck pain was 34.3%. Table 1 lists the weighted percentages of two different kinds of chronic spinal pains by demographic characteristics. Although the level of the prevalence of low back and/or neck pain was higher than that of low back and neck pain, the demographic patterns appeared to be similar.

The top three financial worries were maintaining standard of living, money for retirement, and medical cost of illness or accident in the total population, as indicated in Table 2. Approximately 10% of the people were very worried about one type of the financial issues; approximately 7% worried about two to three types; and more than 9% worried about four to eight types. The same pattern was seen among those with low back and neck pain, as well as those with low back and/or neck pain. The percentages of low back and neck pain among those people who reported different types of financial worries were consistently higher than that of the low back and/or neck pain.

The proportions of people with low back and neck pain, as well as low back and/or neck pain increased as the number of financial worries increased, but the proportion was higher among those with low back and neck pain. Table 2 also indicated that more than half of the people with low back and neck pain reported four to eight types of financial worried, whereas that of a quarter of those with low back and/or neck pain reported four to eight types of financial worries.

Each type of financial worries was significantly related to the two different indicators of chronic spinal pain. Table 3 presents eight sets of multivariate logistic regression models on the associations. Those who were very worried about each of the financial matters had a significantly increased likelihood of having both low back and neck pain, controlling for demographic characteristics, economic status, and general health status. The ORs did not vary greatly among the different types of worry: paying monthly bills (OR 2.46, 95% CI 2.15–2.83), maintaining standard of living (OR 2.48, 95% CI 2.22–2.77), credit card payments (OR 2.20, 95% CI 1.82,2.65), paying rent/mortgage/housing costs (OR 2.20, 95% CI 1.91–2.55), medical costs for healthcare (OR 2.16, 95% CI 1.95–2.39), money for retirement, (OR 2.29, 95% CI 2.06–2.55), medical costs of illness/accident (OR 2.17, 95%CI 1.93–2.43) and paying for children's college (OR 1.43, 95% CI 1.23–1.66). A similar significant association was noted between low back and/or neck pain and each of the individual types of financial worries, although the strength of the associations was slightly lower.

Degree of financial worry was also associated an increased likelihood of the two different indicators of chronic spinal pain. Table 4 shows the model set 9 for the associations between number of financial worries and the two indicators of chronic spinal pain. Compared with those not very worried about any financial issues, people who were very worried about at least two to three types of financial issues (OR 2.22, 95% CI 1.89,2.61) or four to eight types of financial issues (OR 2.78, 95% CI 2.29,2.86) would be significantly more likely to have both low back and neck pain. The similar patterns were seen between numbers of financial worries and low back and/or neck pain. The only difference was the strength of the associations was slightly lower.

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