Back yourself for a healthy life

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

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

YOU do know there is no need to suffer through back pain, don't you?

In Australia, 3.7 million people reported back problems in 2015 and with that figure no doubt rising since then, it can be one of the most debilitating ailments to try and work - and live - with.

That makes looking after our backs a crucial part of preventative medicine and is why the Australian Chiropractors Association puts so much emphasis on ensuring we all keep our spines healthy.

"Everyday activities you do in daily life can be made easier when you're not in pain," chiropractor Kate Granger said.

"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."

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

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," Kate said.

Spinal Health Week will this year be held from May 20 to 26 with the theme "Are you ready for life?".

An initiative of the Australian Chiropractors Association, its aim is to emphasise that prevention is better than cure when it comes to back pain.

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 does take discipline to correct poor posture, but there's no doubt the benefits are well worth the effort.

Seek chiropractic care if needed

Chiropractors use a variety of non-surgical techniques to provide a hands-on approach to spinal health care, but it is not a one-size-fits-all healthcare option.

"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," Kate said.

"If you are experiencing pain, it is not advisable to ignore this.

"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."

This story A right pain in the ... back first appeared on Local News.