In a recent editorial published in Pain, SJ Linton appraised back pain's psychological and economic price:
"Important information on the impact for the individual is provided in a study of diabetic, hypertensives, healthy controls and those with musculoskeletal pain (Wandell et al., 1997). These researchers found that all three patient groups suffered considerable distress, e.g. feeling tired and worried, as compared to the healthy controls. In addition, the patient groups had a significantly lower income than the healthy controls. We have also been struck by the comparatively large number of people with long-term musculoskeletal pain having low incomes. The data of Wandell et al (1997) suggests that patients with musculoskeletal pain suffer as much as the other long-term disease groups did."