Back pain is an epidemic. 75 million Americans suffer from low back pain, with three million new cases each year. Low back pain is the second leading cause of days missed from work and the third most common cause of hospitalization in this country. Low back surgery is seven times higher in the United States than in any other country in the world. Low back and neck surgery is often unsuccessful with as many as 90% of patients reporting no change or worse symptoms than before surgery. According to a ten-year study by the US Department of Health and Human Services, surgery has been found to be helpful in only 1 out of 100 cases of low back problems. A safe, effective, and non-invasive approach to treating back and neck pain exists. That treatment is chiropractic. A 2011 consumer report survey found that the public considered chiropractic to outperform all other available back and neck pain treatments.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) reported that approximately 81,000 firefighters in the United States were injured during 2002 at a cost of $3–8 billion. Most injuries to firefighters occur while on the job and are musculoskeletal-related. The musculoskeletal system supports the body, allows movement and protects organs. Sprains and strains of the low back account for most of the musculoskeletal injuries that firefighters encounter.
Firefighters perform high risk tasks such as operating charged hose lines, climbing ladders, breaking windows, ventilating structures, and lifting heavy objects. These tasks are often performed while in poor posture or while on unstable ground.
Unfortunately, low back injury is the most common injury related to early retirement from the fire service. One-third of firefighters retire due to job-related health and safety problems and 49.4% of this group retires as a result of back pain.