Low Back Pain is Number One Global Disability

One report that needs little or no translating comes from Medscape Medical News (http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/822492) March 24, 2014, which reported low back pain as the number one cause of disability in the world and concluded that “Governments, health service and research providers and donors need to pay far greater attention to the burden that low back pain causes than what they had done previously.”


This is a huge study that took nearly six years to complete and was part of the Global Burden of Disease 2010 study.


By combining the number of years of life lost from early death and the number of years lived with disability, the researchers were able to assess the damage caused by low back pain in terms of disability adjusted life years (DALYs). The researchers discovered that nearly 1 in 10 people had low back pain. And the number of DALYs rose from 58.2 million in 1990 to 83 million in 2010.


What the article tells us is that we need to look after our backs the best we can in order to avoid serious consequences of this ‘disease’. Also included was a warning that the problem increases as we age and most common in the 35-65 age groups.


The occupational risk factors for LBP include rapid pace and repetitive nature of work tasks, heavy lifting, bending and twisting, strained postures, and inadequate recovery time between exposures.

The take-home message from a chiropractic and preventive viewpoint therefore is to strengthen your spine for the work that you do. Get regular aerobic and resistance-strength exercise regularly and stretch every day, if not twice a day. Also learn to activate your core muscles which are vital not only in recovering after injury but also to protect your spine in lifting and all other postures and positions. (See General Exercise and Core Exercise workshop videos and handouts)

And of course, get adjusted regularly!