By Jesse Gentle
Produced for online by Emily Halverson
One in six Australians reportedly suffers from chronic back pain, but the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia hopes to raise awareness with Spinal Health Week.
Chronic back pain is characterised as pain that lasts for three months or longer.
CAA say it is a national issue and estimates 3.7 million Australians are suffering from the effects of chronic back problems.
CAA president Dr Andrew Lawrence says sufferers often experience psychological issues due to pain.
“People do have emotional problems associated with it; they get grumpy [and] they start to have relationship issues, so I’d say in all cases of chronic back pain it has an emotional component.”
Dr Lawrence says anyone who is experiencing new pain should seek professional advice to avoid the problem becoming more serious.
“If things haven’t resolved within a couple of weeks, people should go and get checked to make sure that it’s not going to progress into a problem.”
A sedentary lifestyle and poor posture are risk factors for chronic back pain, but the CAA says the good news is, it is never too late to improve spinal health.
While one of the biggest risk factors for chronic back pain is growing older, Carindale chiropractor Dr Jan Jones speaks from his personal experience with chronic back pain as a teenager and says this in an issue for all ages.
“Being a teenager at that stage, you wouldn’t expect a teenager to have chronic back pain.”
He says keeping active is a great way to maintain good spinal health.
“My biggest tip would be to get out there and get moving, even if it’s just walking once or twice a week and get some stretching done as well.”
The CAA encourages people to download the Just Start Walking app which tracks walking and the Straighten Up app for helpful tips.