Hundreds of thousands of children have back pain

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Hundreds of thousands of children suffer from back pain in Germany.

Many children suffer from back pain. There are an estimated 300,000 children in Germany who are receiving medical treatment for back problems at an early age. This is one of the surprising results that the current medical and aids report from the statutory health insurance company Barmer GEK offers. Also interesting: the health insurance funds' expenditures for medical aids and medical aids have risen massively and are now almost ten billion euros.

Already two-year-olds are fed with painkillers The Bremen-based health expert Prof. Gerd Glaeske gave the figures when he presented the report on medicinal products and aids that the Bamer GEK developed together with scientists from the Center for Social Policy (ZeS) at the University of Bremen. In Glaeske's view, the high number of children with back pain is particularly striking. And Rolf-Ulrich Schlenker Bamer GEK added that the number of children with unspecific back pain diagnosis and physiotherapy prescription must be taken aback, because "it is striking that there are so many". It is also worrying that according to the and aid reports 51 percent of children with back pain are prescribed pain medication, only 30 percent, on the other hand, physiotherapy. However, sometimes the pain medication is also used in conjunction with physiotherapy fed, but not strengthened in their resources, ”emphasized Prof. Gerd Glaeske.

Back pain due to lack of exercise, poor posture and heavy school bags It is undisputed among experts that most of the children's back problems are a result of lack of exercise, poor posture, heavy school bags or unsuitable school furniture. Rolf-Ulrich Schlenker even assumes that "the causes are actually often in the educational environment" and that deficits such as a lack of sport are compensated for by physiotherapy at the expense of the health insurance companies. "This raises the question of whether too much medicine is not used in children," emphasized the Barmer GEK vice-chief. Since the statutory health insurance companies do not want to stay on top of the follow-up costs, they recommend, for example, to use sports to prevent the occurrence of back pain and the subsequent physiotherapy at the expense of the health insurance companies.

Prevention instead of physiotherapy The health economist, Prof. Gerd Glaeske, also believes that physiotherapy is used too quickly and too often in children. For example, 4.7 percent of all children up to the age of 13 received physiotherapy last year, although the complaints could often have been compensated for with exercise. Here, the experts also see the kindergartens and schools as being obliged to take more care of the children's regular physical activity. "Prevention must be expanded instead of treating the children retrospectively," explained Rolf-Ulrich Schlenker. There are other reasons why the experts refer to improved prevention to prevent back pain when presenting the report on medicinal products and aids. Because the massively increasing costs of medicines and aids trigger alarm signals and physiotherapy due to back pain is one of the strongest cost factors in the segment.

Medicinal products and medical aids cost health insurance companies 10 billion Last year, statutory health insurance companies paid around 10 billion euros or 6 percent of the total budget for medical products and aids. Aids are to be understood as utensils such as wheelchairs, hearing aids, insoles or support stockings. Remedies are, for example, physiotherapy, speech or occupational therapies. The costs of the Barmer GEK for remedies rose by 8.4 percent to 670.8 million euros last year and the costs of aids by 4.3 percent to 618.4 million euros. Together, the medical and aids make up 3.12 percent of the total expenditure of the Barmer GEK. Clearly the biggest cost of the remedies is physiotherapy and back pain is the most common reason. "We are obviously a country of back patients", explains Rolf-Ulrich Schlenker and emphasized that every sixth insured person takes advantage of the remedies. For example, the Barmer GEK spent over 442 million euros on physiotherapy for back pain, an increase of ten percent over the previous year.

Prescription practice varies greatly depending on age and region The prescription practice Prof. Glaeske also questions the regionally and depending on the age, very different prescription practice. An average of 4.7 percent of the children up to the age of 13 insured with the GEK received physiotherapy, half of them because of back pain. Often children under the age of two are treated for unspecific back problems or abnormalities. In 2008, 10.3 percent of the girls treated for back pain and 7.4 percent of the boys were under two years old.

While the use of appropriate remedies is relatively generous in young patients, the experts see a considerable need to catch up in older, sick people. For example, the evaluation of the GEK data showed that there are considerable deficits in the physiotherapeutic care of terminally insured cancer patients, explained Prof. Glaeske. According to this, in 2008 only 18 percent of cancer patients were treated with medicines before their death. "Palliative care in Germany urgently needs to be expanded", emphasized Prof. Glaeske and added: "At the beginning of life, physiotherapy is often used too quickly, at the end of life, however, it is used too sparingly." Therapeutic and medical device reports to record a regionally very different regulation practice. So Rolf-Ulrich Schlenker is surprised that around twice as many children were prescribed deposits in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania as in Baden-Württemberg: "In Northern Germany there seems to be a focus on flat feet"

Criticism of a lack of transparency in the field of medicinal and auxiliary substances Schlenker and Glaeske generally criticized the lack of transparency in the field of therapeutic and auxiliary substances, because there is still no benefit assessment, said Prof. The expert added: "There will be a lot Spent money on it, but we don't know what the various treatments will ultimately bring. ”Against the background of the cost explosion and the dynamic growth in the area, the experts believe that a clear medical benefit must be recognized and also proven. Regarding the prescription of physiotherapy for children, Prof. Glaeske added: "Remedies are useful if they support the children and not if they compensate for the lack of exercise at school."

Even light exercises can help against back pain. The naturopath with a focus on osteopathy, Thorsten Fischer, has published numerous back pain exercises that can also be used for prevention. (fp, 06.10.2010)

Also read:
Doctors: Naturopathy relieves back pain
Exercise helps with back pain
More and more children have back pain

Author and source information

Video: Dr. Khan explains how KKT provides effective Back Pain Treatment


  1. Dirn

    I know what needs to be done)))

  2. Kigakree

    In my opinion this is a very interesting topic. I invite everyone to take an active part in the discussion.

  3. Sebestyen

    Are you, by any chance, not an expert?

  4. Meztinos

    You are not like the expert :)

  5. Mezirg

    as you would read carefully, but you have not understood

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