Back pain - Hurting the Australian economy more than your spine

At SOF, we work with a number of patients that have experienced varying degrees of back pain.

From spinal fusions and complex spondylolisthesis cases, to facet joint irritations and tight QL’s, we have been lucky enough to have helped a lot of people improve their quality of life through back pain management.

Back pain affects more than 80% of the Australian Population and is felt more than just in your back.

This study shows that people taking sick days because of Chronic Health Conditions reduced Australia’s GDP by $14.7billion (this was in 2003 – it’s probably gotten a lot worse).

Back Pain made up a large majority of this - 10.4%.

That’s a cost of $1.5billion to Australia’s GDP - ouch.

So what can be done about it?

Before reading this, we must admit that we are a little bias, BUT exercise has shown to be one of the best ways to help improve back pain symptoms.

If you have ever experienced an episode of back pain, you’ll know the locked up feeling it creates. It can be debilitating and leave you feeling pretty helpless.

This response is generated by your body so you don’t put it in compromised or threatening positions again for a little while. It is actually useful information from the brain saying “I don’t like the way you did that, so DON’T DO IT AGAIN”.

The problem arises when you have to get in and out of your car again and do all the other little parts of your every-day life.

This is where an effective exercise program comes in.

It SHOULD teach you how to move correctly.

What will follow is the ability to subconsciously:

-    Use your large leg/hip muscles to generate force.

-    Use your abdominals to support you whilst you reach for the top shelf.

-    Distribute force as you get into the car.

Ultimately, learning to move correctly will help put the tender little muscles and joints of the spine in less “threatening” positions and start using them appropriately (like bending down and tying your shoelace).

We’ve been lucky enough to see some members experience this first-hand.

By learning how to move your body correctly (getting stronger) you’re a good chance of reducing the pain response patterns in your brain as it may not feel so “threatened” when moving.

So get out there, find someone that can teach you how to move properly and be strong.


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