01.06.2017 Health News

Chronic Back Pain

Lifestyle changes can help with this common and debilitating health issue.

Chronic back pain is a national health issue. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, one in six Australians are suffering from chronic back problems – that’s an estimated 3.7 million people dealing with the physical and psychological effects of chronic back pain.

The extent of this medical issue was highlighted recently during Spinal Health Week when the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia (CAA) urged people to seek help.

“More and more Australians are experiencing debilitating back pain, limiting their ability to engage in an active, healthy life,” said Dr Andrew Lawrence, CAA National President.

Unlike general back pain which is usually resolved within a few weeks, chronic back pain is a long-term health condition lasting for three months or longer. Making lifestyle adjustments and seeking professional advice can help alleviate chronic back pain symptoms.

Chiropractic care focuses on the relationship between the spine and nervous system without the use of surgery or drugs. Chiropractors work towards restoring and maintaining normal spinal function, collaborating with other health professionals where needed.

For chronic back problems, chiropractors use a variety of treatments such as spinal manipulation or manual therapies. They also offer advice on self management through exercise and lifestyle changes.

“While it is not always possible to identify the cause of chronic back pain, a sedentary lifestyle and poor posture are risk factors,” said Dr Lawrence.

Simple measures such as incorporating walking into your daily routine can reduce the severity of chronic back pain symptoms and improve overall wellbeing. Improving posture can also help relieve strain on the spine and improve overall health.

The best way to make lifestyle changes is to seek advice, start gradually, be consistent and build capability over time. Check with your healthcare professional before undertaking exercise to make sure it is appropriate for your specific needs.

Download these apps to improve your spinal health and overall wellbeing:

Track your walks, log your walking history and find walking events in your local area with the Just Start Walking app. Download from the App Store.

Use the Straighten Up app to receive reminders and helpful tips on how to improve your posture. Download Straighten Up (Australia) from the App Store or Google Play.