The True Cost of Back Pain

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A growing public health problem in Australia and developed countries throughout the world is the dramatic rise in low back pain and associated costs on the economy. Low back pain is the most prevalent and costly musculoskeletal condition in Australia,the indirect cost to the economy has been estimated at over $9 billion per year.

Recent studies found that more than 65% of participants surveyed indicated that they had suffered from low back pain in the last 6 months.

Individuals, their families, employers, private insurers, and society in general are all affected by the high cost of back pain. While 90% of acute low back pain sufferers recover in approximately a 2 week period, recurrence in a estimated 20-60% is reported.

Why the increase

The increase in sedentary lifestyle choices (i.e undertaking none or insufficient amount of physical activities) has the most bearing on low back pain.

What is the cause behind sedentary behaviour?

1. Technology boom, the increase in home entertainment computers, game consoles, and general use of consumer electronics.

2. High percentage of office workers in Australia. On average the office worker will spend more than 6 hours of their working day sitting, recent studies have shown that office workers have the highest rate of sedentary behaviours than any other form of worker outside of their workplace.

Poor posture, lack of general flexibility, general muscular weakness, an increase in working hours (mainly hours sitting) and the obesity epidemic in Australia all have a negative outcome on your general health and helps contribute to the increase in low back pain conditions.

Preventive Measures

The most effective way to decrease incidents of low back pain is patient education.

1. Work station setup. work-station-setup

Correct sitting position, ergonomic advice and computer setup should be addressed in the workplace and at home. This will also help address pain that is felt in the neck, chest and shoulders that is associated with poor sitting posture.

2. Manual workers

Ensure correct lifting techniques are used on the job and maintain a healthy active lifestyle to help with the demands of their profession.

correct-lifting-technique

3. Stretch and move.

Have a break every hour for a quick stretch and walk around to promote blood flow to fatigued muscles.

Treatment of low back pain

If a incident of low back pain is experienced it is important to get treatment early. Our Physiotherapist will assess and diagnose the cause of your

back pain. Hands on treatment in the early stages of low back pain is recommended.

Actively participating in your rehab is the most important aspect to getting better. Maintaining core stability will not only support your spine and improve the muscular corset (transverse abdominals) around your back, but will also provide a mental and physical focus away from your pain.

Back Rehab Clinic Sunshine Coast

Physio Professionals offers a 6 week individual tailored program that addresses the patients individual needs and helps address common problems that are often found with low back pain sufferers. These include poor posture and postural awareness, weak core muscles and poor flexibility and general inactivity. Back rehab educates the patient and provides them with the necessary tools to self manage at home.

Michelle Crew
B.App Sci (Exer & Sports Sci)
Masters of Physiotherapy
Level 3 Sports Physio (AIS)