One in 6 Australians are experiencing the physical and psychological effects of chronic back problems. Of the estimated 3.7 million people suffering from chronic back problems, many are likely to also suffer from poor quality of life and are unable to engage in an active healthy life. With around 70-90% of Australians suffering from lower back problems in some form at some point in their lives, it is fast becoming a concern. In addition to dealing with persistent pain, people with chronic back pain are also more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety. This greatly impacts daily activities and general outlook on life. While the burden of lower back pain is ranked sixth in the world, it is ranked first in Australasia.
What are chronic back problems?
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare defines chronic pain as a long-term health condition—general back pain is usually resolved within a few weeks or months but back pain that lasts 3 months or more is described as chronic. Chronic back problems include pain which can be identified as a persistent ache anywhere on the back. Usually felt in the lower back area, chronic back problems can also cause stiffness, soreness and inflammation. The pain itself may range from mild to severe, or from a dull ache to a sharp pain.
What Causes Chronic Back Pain?
It is not always possible to identify the cause of back pain. Although pain from a direct injury (such as a sprain or strain) or a medical condition (like a slipped disc or sciatica) may be easier to identify, chronic back problems can also result from lifestyle choices. People who lead inactive lives and have poor posture are more at risk of experiencing back pain due to prolonged strain on the back and spine.
Health is at Hand
Chronic back pain can be quite distressing but there is no need to suffer in silence. There are steps you can take to address chronic pain symptoms. Improvements, no matter how small, may help you feel like yourself again. Taking small steps towards better health and seeking professional advice can make a big difference in how you feel.
Chiropractic – Part of the solution
Chiropractic is a primary healthcare profession which focuses on the relationship between the spine and nervous system. This approach does not use surgery or drugs to address spinal health issues. Chiropractic care is part of the solution. The focus of chiropractic is on correcting dysfunctions in the musculoskeletal and nervous system, and pain relief. Chiropractors work towards restoring and maintaining normal spinal function, and encouraging patients to make necessary lifestyle choices to achieve this.
Dr Paije assesses each patient individually and tailors treatment accordingly. – One size does not fit all. Although chronic back problems are common, the causes are not always the same. Some people are in the early development stages, while others are long term sufferers and the treatment approach reflects each person’s unique circumstances.