A generation ago, having a ‘bad back’ was spoken about as if it was a mystical health problem. Low back pain causes more disability than any other conditions, including infections, depression and cardiac disease. Today, most people know that back pain is a very common and potentially serious health issue – but many still aren’t sure what to do about it.
The Global Burden of Disease Study, a study published by The Lancet, found lower back pain and osteoarthritis are now ranked second only to cancer as a leading cause of disease burden in Australasia. The study looked at trends between 1990 and 2013 across 188 countries. Australian statistics show that out of the top 10 causes of ongoing disability due to an illness or injury, back pain, neck pain, migraines and other musculoskeletal issues took out four of the top five places.
Lower back pain was also in the top 10 for every single one of the 188 countries in the study, which highlights the importance and pervasiveness of this uncomfortable and often debilitating condition.
The Lancet study shows that developed countries are facing new health challenges, as treatments for acute illnesses have become highly effective, but treatment for chronic disease has fallen behind. We might be living longer, but it seems many of these years are spent living with disability. In many cases the pain and discomfort is avoidable or, with the right treatments can be reduced or managed. This highlights just how important seeking help from the right health professionals is when it comes to improving spinal health.
Too many Australians endure back or neck pain without realising what they can do to manage or prevent spinal problems. One misconception people have is that bed rest is good for back pain. However, in most cases people will improve more quickly and are less likely to develop chronic pain if they are up and moving.
More frequently chiropractors are seeing fewer people with back injuries sustained from manual work, instead seeing an increasing number of people with back problems relating to lifestyle, including obesity, excessive devotion to electronic screens day and night and too much time spent sitting down.
If you are experiencing any ongoing discomfort related to your spinal health, come and see us at Woombye Chiropractic to help improve your overall health and wellbeing.