The magnitude of how back pain may affect someone can vary depending on a range of factors. In some cases it won’t affect a person’s lifestyle initially but could develop into something more serious later on, while in other cases it may have a larger affect on the individual and other people involved. Let’s take a look at an example below.
During a recent family reunion, Luke’s family played their customary game of soccer. Luke looked on, watching his brothers (both older and younger) enjoy the game. It was evident by the expression on his face that he would have rather been on the field with his brothers and children, than stuck on the sidelines watching. Luke is young, only 40 years old, but the repetitive work of a tradesperson has left him with debilitating back pain. Luke has two young children, that he can’t wrestle with. He is married, but sleeps in a recliner instead of in bed next to his wife. Luke regularly misses work, has been on medication for months, and can not travel comfortably due to his back pain. Luke’s wife has recently said that he seems depressed. It is very likely that he is. Luke’s chronic back pain has destroyed the life that he knew. Sadly, he is not alone. Up to 80% of people experience back pain, and it is the single leading cause of disability worldwide.
Back pain affects more than just the back especially when things get really bad.
Back pain affects more than just the back especially when things get really bad. The pain may be experienced there, but it has far reaching side effects. Those that live with chronic pain tend to experience depression, anxiety, and a sense of hopelessness.
This, combined with the idea that it takes more focus to complete normal daily activities while living with pain, can result in back pain sufferers wanting to rest more than usual. People living with pain can become angry and less social.
When they start anticipating the pain returning, it can create a sense of anxiety for them. Imagine then, that those suffering have spouses and children at home. Now the suffering has extended beyond the individual. The person’s overall wellbeing is going to affect more than just themselves, now it’s affecting their partner and children too. Then consider the additional cost affiliated with missing work, and ongoing use of painkillers. Some choose to live with the pain and suffer in silence by just putting up with it, however another alternative may be to try a Chiropractor.
Let’s look at another example of Rebecca who is a young woman, but she sits behind a desk all day. She’s noticed that her back can get a little stiff at times and sometimes even a little bit sore. While this just comes and goes, she’s decided that rather than just putting up with it or waiting until it could get really bad, she will seek out chiropractic treatment. In doing so, she’s being more proactive by tackling small problems before they become major issues. She feels she is able to better engage in an active lifestyle outside of work as a result of her decision.
Chiropractic treatment isn’t just for those suffering from chronic pain, extreme pain or injury. Some people like to know how their spine is functioning irrespective of feeling pain. Today, Chiropractors are primary care professionals that focus on the health of the spine and its related structures including the nervous system. In Australia they are government regulated under AHPRA whose role is to support the national boards as they “protect the public by setting standards and policies all registered health practitioners must meet”.
To become a chiropractor, an accredited 5 year full time chiropractic program must be completed at a University within Australia, or an accredited program overseas must be completed that satisfies the requirements set by the Australian Chiropractic Regulating Authority.
So what does the Chiropractor do exactly?
Chiropractic treatment aims to restore proper function to the spine. In doing so they also have an influence on the nervous system (which is also the system through which we perceive pain). It’s important a proper assessment is done to have a look at a person’s posture, their global spinal function, and their segmental spinal function. Also it is important that consideration is taken into account for the amount of pain someone is suffering in their back, where this is located and how this is affecting them. After taking an appropriate history and doing a comprehensive examination a chiropractor should report their findings back to the person and work with the individual to help them achieve their goals. It’s extremely important to make sure the right things are being measured and tracked so that both the chiropractor and person suffering back pain know they are improving. This helps take the guess work out of the chiropractic therapy so decisions are more data driven. As the saying goes “You can’t track what you don’t measure”.
Chiropractic treatment can also involve guidance in term of exercises for both flexibility and strengthening. Other lifestyle advice may be given and supplements may be used to support treatment in an evidence based manner. The most important thing is to help people with their pain and help them get back to a quality of life and function they desire. Chiropractic treatment techniques are chosen based on what is best for the person and also what the person is comfortable with. A chiropractor should always explain to you what they are doing, what to expect and make sure you have consented to the treatment before doing it. This is especially important if it’s the first time you have seen a Chiropractor.
So if you would like more information on how we may be able to help you or a family member or a friend. Please contact our centre. Our talented and compassionate staff are here to serve you, and are dedicated to answering your questions so we can better meet your needs. Do not settle for treatment that overlooks the root cause of the problem, instead visit our team of professionals. We aren’t only dedicated to ensuring that you get back on your feet, but also focus on strategies that you can use to keep you functioning well, in an effort to prevent future episodes from happening. Here is to your continued health, as well as living without pain.
- Hoy, D et al. (2014) “The global burden of low back pain: estimates from the global burden of disease 2010 study”. Ann Rheum Dis. 73: 968 – 974
- Liebenson, C (2007). “Rehabilitation of the spine. 2nd Ed. Philadelphia Lippincott Williams & Wilkins