Avoid the issues associated with back pain

SORE SPOT: Too many Australians tend to put up with pain, particularly back pain, rather than seeking treatment. Photo: Shutterstock
SORE SPOT: Too many Australians tend to put up with pain, particularly back pain, rather than seeking treatment. Photo: Shutterstock

In 2019, 3.9 million Australians reported back problems including inflammation, pain and soreness. Back pain can be one of the most debilitating ailments to try and work and live with, but more often than not, there is no need to suffer through back pain.

Looking after our backs is crucial to our overall health and well-being and therefore makes it a vital part of preventative medicine, which is why the Australian Chiropractors Association puts so much emphasis on ensuring we all keep our spines healthy.

Chiropractor, Kate Granger, said that everyday activities you do in daily life can be made easier when you're not in pain. "Back pain can have a damaging effect on a person's quality of life by affecting their ability to participate at work, in social activities and sports".

Kate said that frustratingly. back pain in particular can create a chicken-and-egg scenario - while it may be a lack of movement that causes it, the pain then makes any movement more difficult. "If you're in pain, you're not moving and exercising as much as you could be and, if you're not exercising, it exacerbates the situation".

If you're in pain, you're not moving and exercising as much as you could be and, if you're not exercising, it exacerbates the situation.

Kate Granger, Chiropractor

Spinal Health Week is normally held in May, but due to COVID-19 this years activities have been cancelled. However, even during the coronavirus outbreak, spinal health should still be on our minds. With so many people working from home, it is important to make sure home offices, desk and chairs are all set up to help with lumbar support and to keep us sitting in a healthy position. Likewise, it is just important to remember to get up, stretch and take a break from sitting down when we need to.

If possible, take the chance while your away from work or your desk to get some exercise as your back will thank you for it. Your spine is a support structure that grows with you from birth and moves with you at every stage of life. Back pain can be muscular and/or skeletal, but there are three key pieces of advice when it comes to maintaining spinal health:

Keeping active

  • Most physical activity can have positive effects on the spine, but 56 per cent of all Australians are not sufficiently physically active. This has a negative impact on your spinal health.
  • An active spine is a healthy spine and this is important at any age.
  • The Department of Health recommends 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each week.

Improving your posture

  • Posture is the position in which we hold our bodies while standing, sitting or lying down.
  • When your posture is poor this can increase pressure on your spine and contribute to tension, soreness, headaches, back pain and fatigue.
  • A healthy posture is all about a healthy range of movement.
  • It takes discipline to correct poor posture, but there's no doubt the benefits are well worth the effort.

Seeking care

Kate said chiropractors can be a preventative healthcare option by offering advice and assistance in making appropriate lifestyle choices and therefore reducing the risk of spinal health issues arising in the first place. "We can help with lifestyle advice, stretching advice and different options to keep people moving, thus maintaining an active lifestyle to help keep a healthy spine, as well as being more able to recognise poor posture".

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