Congressmen introduces resolution to raise awareness to spine-related disability

U.S. Reps. Tom Rooney (R-FL) and Patrick Murphy (D-FL) presented a bipartisan resolution earlier this week designed to raise awareness of a national movement to reduce spine-related disabilities by designating February as National Spine Ability Month.

“Unfortunately, spine impairment is all too common in the United States – especially among our nation’s veterans,” Murphy said. “With prevention, diagnostic, therapeutic and ergonomic interventions, it does not have to lead to disability, and we can reduce the impact these injuries have on individuals’ quality of life.”

Rooney and Murphy presented the resolution in support of the Spine 10 x 25 Initiative, which aims to reduce spine-related disabilities by 10 percent by 2025.

Spine-related impairment currently is one of the most common causes of disability in the United States and is the leading cause of disability in military veterans, impacting more than 14 million Americans. It is also economically devastating. Statistics show that 71 percent of citizens who declare themselves disabled fall into some level of poverty. Forty percent of individuals with back, neck and spine pain report missing time at work due to impairment, and nearly 20 percent are unable to work at all, meaning annual losses of $28 billion in U.S. economic activity with total ancillary costs related to the issue are estimated to be $253 billion.

“I have long supported the excellent work of Florida’s medical and research communities that work tirelessly with individuals suffering from spine-related injuries,” Rooney said. “By designating February as National Spine Ability Month, we can help raise awareness of spinal cord injuries and increase nationwide support for research leading to a cure.”