On Back Health Day on March 15th, the Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) is publishing the first preliminary data from its annual health report. The current evaluation shows that back problems also caused high levels of absenteeism last year. Of the 15.4 days that TK-insured workers were on sick leave on average in 2015, almost ten percent (1.4 days) were due to back problems alone. Extrapolated to the over 43 million working people in the Federal Republic, this results in over 60 million days of absence.

Gudrun Ahlers, responsible for health reporting at TK: “For a medium-sized company with 150 employees, that’s 210 days of lost production per year. In other words: The company suffers damage equivalent to an annual salary just from back problems.”

According to TK, the main single diagnosis among back problems is the very unspecific diagnosis “back pain”, which alone accounts for half of the complaints, i.e. 0.8 days per person. In 2015, back pain ranked third among the main causes of sick leave, behind respiratory infections and depressive episodes.

Overall, women were on sick leave for an average of 17.2 days, three more days than men (13.9 days). They are more affected by almost all diagnoses than men. Back problems are one of the few illnesses that affect both sexes equally. In the case of back-related sick leave, women are on average a day longer off work than men (16.9 days), with a case duration of 18 days.

The TK Back Atlas, a previous study by the health insurance company, shows that there are clear differences between the sectors. “Work in the construction industry, professional drivers, nursing and cleaning staff in particular is associated with back problems to an above-average extent,” says the TK expert.

According to the TK, there are also clear regional differences: While people in Baden-Württemberg have the fewest back problems with 1.1 back-related days of absence per capita, working people in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania are most affected with just under two days.

To prevent back pain, the TK recommends regular moderate exercise. “Just like unhealthy physical stress, lack of exercise is also a trigger for back problems,” says Ahlers.

In addition to the commitment to back health in company health management, it is important that patients receive good medical care in order to avoid lengthy and painful sick leave. TK boss Dr. Jens Baas therefore advocates more quality in medical care, but rejects long-term, rigid treatment programs: “In the case of back pain, the diagnosis is unspecific and the causes are varied. They affect a lot of people in very different ways. That’s why we need targeted offers that are individually tailored to patients.”

Coordinated multidisciplinary treatment

Everyone knows pain. These usually disappear after a short time. But if they occur again and again or are even constantly noticeable, this often means terrible suffering for those affected.

In order to better treat patients with acute and chronic pain, the Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) has developed a special offer together with experts from the German Society for Pain Therapy. Selected specialists, behavioral therapists and physiotherapists work closely and effectively together, thereby increasing the chances of recovery.

Especially when it comes to back pain, which often has a variety of causes, the combined knowledge of several experts can make a decisive contribution to alleviating pain and improving the patient's quality of life. In addition to pain therapists, physiotherapists and behavioral therapists are also involved in the treatment of patients. Because usually z. For example, damaged vertebrae or intervertebral discs are not solely to blame for a back problem. Poor posture, muscle stress, pressure to perform or lack of exercise can also cause back pain and cause long-term pain.

Treatment process

At the beginning of your treatment there is a comprehensive diagnostic check. It will be determined whether our offer is the right treatment option for you or whether another approach is necessary. If this treatment does not seem effective for you, our treatment team will show you and organize an alternative. The actual therapy then begins with coordinated treatment processes. Through the combination of modern pain treatment and comprehensive physical and behavioral therapy, the treatment can usually be completed within three weeks. During this time, patients receive intensive and close therapy treatments.

The therapeutic range of services

The therapy includes physiotherapy, psychotherapy and targeted pain therapy. In addition, educational services as well as informative elements are used for your treatment.

Back pain

This includes, for example, the following therapy components:

  • Explanations of chronification
  • Communicating pain contexts
  • Behavioral therapy
  • Pain therapy
  • Strength and endurance training
  • Coordination training
  • Relaxation procedures
  • Stretching

The aim is to restore your quality of life and ability to work as quickly as possible.

The advantages at a glance

  • A treatment plan tailored to your individual needs will be created.
  • You will get a treatment appointment quickly.
  • There are no unnecessary double examinations for you.
  • You will receive intensive treatment over a longer period of time.
  • Selected therapists work with the most modern methods.
  • The combined knowledge of several experts is available to you.
  • Your treatment and treatment goals will be regularly reviewed and adjusted.
  • You can usually return to your usual everyday life more quickly.