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The Chiropractors’ Association of Australia is using Spinal Health Week 2017 (22-28 May) to encourage Australians to seek help for chronic back pain.

Chronic pain is a national issue, with 1 in 6 Australians suffering from chronic back problems. That’s an estimated 3.7 million people dealing with the physical and psychological effects of this condition.

Unlike general back pain, which is usually resolved within a few weeks, chronic back pain is a long-term condition that lasts for three months or more. It can be hard to identify the cause of chronic back pain, especially in the absence of an injury or medical condition. However, a sedentary lifestyle and poor posture are risk factors for this condition.

According to the AIHW, chronic back problems can be associated with several factors such as physical fitness, smoking, being overweight and type of occupation (for example, those requiring frequent lifting, bending and twisting).1

Seek advice

Taking the first steps to combat chronic back pain can be overwhelming. In the first instance, it is helpful to seek advice from a healthcare professional and then focus on self-management in light of the advice received.

How chiropractic can help

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For chronic back problems, chiropractors use a variety of non-surgical treatments such as spinal manipulative therapy (SMT). As with any treatment approach, your chiropractor will work with your to evaluate if this method can bring relief for your chronic back pain symptoms.

SMT has shown positive effects on back pain. A study has shown that in terms of short- and long-term patient-rated pain and disability, for (predominantly chronic) lower back pain, there is strong evidence that SMT is similar in effect to a combination of medical care with exercise instruction.2

Chiropractors are highly qualified healthcare professionals who are trained to diagnose and manage the treatment of low back pain disorders and other spinal health issues. Chiropractors can also advise on self-management of chronic back pain symptoms through exercise and lifestyle modification. Visit your local CAA chiropractor for more information on how they can help. 

Stay active and improve your posture

Staying active is important for spinal mobility and health. People with chronic back pain may find it hard to exercise, however, they should try to be as active as possible. Incorporating walking into your daily routine is a good way to start. Download the Just Start Walking app from the App Store to track your progress.

Poor posture can also put strain on the spine. Slouching or hunching distorts the natural shape of the spine over time and places undue stress on it. Being mindful of your posture and taking steps towards correcting it can greatly benefit your spinal health.
Chronic Back Pain? Help is at Hand.
 
For more information, visit www.spinalhealthweek.com.au

Spinal Health Week is a national initiative of the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia (CAA).


References

1. (Jørgensen et al. 2013).
    http://www.aihw.gov.au/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=60129556199
2. Bronfort, Gert et al. “Evidence-Informed Management Of Chronic Low Back Pain With Spinal Manipulation And Mobilization”. The Spine Journal 8.1 (2008): 213-225. Web.