Back and neck pain

Worldwide issue

Statistics on back pain

·      Back problems are a range of conditions related to the bones, joints, connective tissue, muscles and nerves of the back. Back problems are a significant cause of disability and lost productivity.

·      In 2015, back pain was the 2nd leading cause of disease burden, accounting for 4.1% of Australia’s total disease burden

·      In 2017-18 there were 181000 hospitalisations with back problems.

·      About 4.0 million people or 1 in 6 Australians (16%) had back problems in 2017–18

·      Pain at least “moderately” interfered with daily activities for almost 2 in 5 (38%) people with back problems in 2017–18


Neck Pain

·       Neck pain is such a common problem that 1 in 5 readers of this article probably already suffers neck pain. In fact, the chance that you will have neck pain at some point over your lifetime is nearly 50%

·      It tends to peak in middle age, and has a higher incidence in females than males (2). For the majority of people, an acute episode of neck pain will resolve in approximately 6-8 weeks with conservative management but chronic neck pain persists in 10-34% of people (8,9).



Chronic Pain Statistics

Estimated $10 billion global chronic pain market (2026)
•Opioid epidemic in USA and other 1st world countries
•Chronic pain affects between 30% and 50% of the world population.



•50m chronic pain patients (3)

•63% of registered medical cannabis patients are for chronic pain(1)

•90% reported cannabis more effective than OTC pain medications (1,2)

•To date, there has been $4 billion worth of sales from Oxycodone (USA)



•3.24 million Australians living with chronic pain (4)

•40% of SAS Cat B Cannabis patients are living with chronic pain(5)

•73.2 billion dollar cost to the economy (4)

•44.6% also live with depression and anxiety (4)



•Chronic pain effects an estimated 100 million people (6)

•German pharmacies processed 267,348 prescriptions under the statutory program in 2019, up 44% from the previous year. Chronic pain was the number 1 condition(7)



1. Boehnke, K. F., et al, (2019). Qualifying Conditions Of Medical Cannabis License Holders In The United States. Health Affairs (Project Hope), 38(2), 295–302.

2.  Bachhuber, M., et al., (2019). Use of Cannabis to Relieve Pain and Promote Sleep by Customers at an Adult Use Dispensary. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs

3. Dahlhamer, J.,et al. (2018). Prevalence of Chronic Pain and High-Impact Chronic Pain Among Adults – United States, 2016. MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 67(36), 1001–1006

4. Pain Australia. org.

5. Freshleaf analytics


7. Medical Cannabis in Europe: 2nd edition report; Marijuana Business Daily International, May 2020

8. P. D. Aker, A. R. Gross, C. H. Goldsmith, and P. Peloso. Conservative management of mechanical neck pain: systematic overview and meta-analysis. BMJ. 1996 November 23; 313(7068): 1291–1296.

9.Mehanical Neck Pain and Cervicogenic Headache. Neurosurgery 2007: 60:S1-21–S1-27 


Back and Neck Pain are common areas of pain in society