The effects of spinal disorders on sufferers are severe: constant pain, drug dependency, decreased mobility and increased dependency on benefits. On a human level back pain can be severely disabling, denying people many simple pleasures, from embracing a loved one to competing in a favourite sport. Other health problems can be aggravated by back pain. Immobility prevents beneficial exercise and pain-killing drugs reduce the body’s ability to cope with disease.
Thousands of hours are lost every day to industry, commerce and sport through sick leave due to spinal disorders. As a consequence the cost to industry in lost production is an estimated 5.1 billion pounds annually and to the NHS an estimated 480 million pounds, figures which are only expected to rise.
Governments find their benefits systems stretched as support is required by those with these conditions severe enough to affect their mobility, access to work and ability to be financially independent
DISCS believe that spinal cord injury need not always result in paralysis. New trauma conventions that dedicate swift and appropriate treatment to spinal injuries could potentially reduce the number of traumas resulting in permanent paralysis. Without investigation, the opportunity for people to be saved from paralysis, life-long care and often life-threatening side effects, is lost.