Thursday 10 April 2014
Back Pain – world’s top cause of work-related disability
New research confirms that low back pain causes more disability for workers globally than any other condition.
The study indicates that more preventative health strategies are urgently required to help people avoid back workplace injury, according to Geelong Chiropractor, Dr Kyle Keenan.
The Australian-led study, published in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases journal, reviewed data from around the world through the Global Burden of Disease study and found low back pain was clearly the most common cause of work-related disability globally. People working in agriculture were particularly susceptible.
“Back pain is the leading cause of time off work in Australia and we urgently need to improve information and preventative health care support available to workers in the Geelong region,” Dr Keenan said.
“Each year, back pain costs billions of dollars in lost productivity in Australia. Research has indicated that 25 per cent of sufferers aged 18-44 take 10 or more days off each year.
“Manual jobs, involving lots of lifting and twisting can be a significant cause of back injury, but chiropractors also find office-based jobs place a different type of stress on spines. The human body is just not designed for hour after hour of sitting, and long days in front of computers is causing many people to seek chiropractic health care to address back and joint pain.
“There are a number of easy steps that people can implement to reduce the risk of back injury. Chiropractors spend five years at university building expertise in spinal health so they can help people comb through their lifestyles and reduce back pain.”
Another Australian-led study published earlier this year found that neck pain was also a common cause of disability across the world. The study found that neck pain was a common cause of disability across the world and further research was urgently required to understand its causes and methods of prevention and management.
“Based on the latest research, more than 80 per cent of Geelong residents will be affected by back pain in their lives,” Dr Keenan said.
“Chiropractic health care is important to treat spinal pain and chiropractors can also provide a range of advice on how to avoid back pain, taking into account the lifestyles and needs of individual patients.”
The Chiropractors’ Association of Australia is planning a campaign in May to raise awareness of ways to prevent and treat back pain.
“With back pain an enormous issue in our community, we have a responsibility as chiropractors to ensure that people across the country understand what chiropractic health care is and how it can help,” Dr Keenan said.