- According to the American Chiropractic Association, Musculoskeletal pain, led by spinal disorders, costs the U.S. health care system $874 billion per year and is the most common cause of severe long-term pain and disability.
- In the U.S. the demand for physical therapists focusing on back and neck problems is on the rise as 75.4 million baby boomers as of 2017 enter their late 60s and maintain a very active lifestyle.
- The sports industry in the US alone has a $14.3 billion impact on the economy annually. The profitability of professional sports teams is dependent of the health of its athletes and their ability to perform. Up to 20% of all injuries that occur in sports (athletes or general population) involve a lower back or neck injury.
- Annually, the occurrence rate for lower back complaints among the United States population is 30%. It is the second most common reason people see their primary care physician and back pain patients incur 73% higher healthcare costs annually. Spine injuries are the leading cause of time lost from work and most costly industrial injury and accounts for 40% of all work related injury costs and in total.
- Finally, care standards for low back pain patients initially suggested by the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) in 1994 and again supported by Bone and Joint decade in 2008 went largely ignored during this period.
US Facts & Figures (as of 2016)
- 217,000 Number of Physical Therapists (see Note)
- 100,000 Number of Osteopaths
- 77,000 Number of Chiropractors
- 36,540 Total Number of Gym’s
- 5,534 Total Number of all US Registered Hospital
- 1,600 Outpatient Rehabilitation Clinics
- 1,233 Veterans Health Care Facilities serving 8.9 million patients p.a.
- 168 Veteran Administration Medical Center
- U.S. News Article “Spine Surgery Is No MAGIC Cure”
- Can. Fam. Physician Vol. 31: “Spinal Manipulation in the Treatment of Low-Back-pain”
- American Chiropractic Association “A Drug-Free Approach To Treatment of Musculoskeletal Pain”
- ACA News “Vertebral Axial Decompression”
- The Lancet “Low back pain: a call for action”
Global Market Analysis
Source #1: Bureau of Labor Statistics and Commission on Accreditation in physical Therapy (CAPTE) and www.osteopathic.org
Source #2: World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT) and First Research, Hoovers, Rehabilitation Therapy Services
Note: According to CAPTE, as of 2017 there are 31,380 physical therapy students enrolled in 227 accredited PT programs in the United States while 12,945 PTA students enrolled in 331 PTA programs in the United States in 2018.