26 August 2021

Bad Backs Costing us Big Bucks

A new report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) highlights that more money was spent on musculoskeletal disorders, such as osteoarthritis and back pain, than any other disease, condition or injury in Australia.

The report, Disease Expenditure in Australia 2018-19, looks at how $136 billion was spent across Australia’s health system in 2018-19. Musculoskeletal disorders attracted the most spending at $14 billion, followed by cardiovascular diseases ($11.8 billion), cancer and other neoplasms ($11.8 billion), and mental and substance use disorders ($10.5 billion).1

An estimated 4 million Australians have back problems, while 90% of people will experience back pain at some point in their lives.2 With such a high prevalence of back pain in our society, chances are you or someone you know will suffer from back pain and its subsequent impacts on life one day.

AIHW also recently published a report highlighting that musculoskeletal conditions contribute to 13% of the total burden of disease experienced by Australians and over one-third of the disease burden is potentially preventable.3

Several factors can contribute to low back pain, including poor posture, excessive sitting, lack of exercise, using incorrect lifting techniques and much more. Taking care of your spinal health allows you to participate in the healthiest life possible, both physically and mentally.

Here are a few tips to help manage your lower back pain:

  • Avoid sitting for longer than 30 minutes at a time.
  • When lifting heavy objects, keep the object as close to your body as you can. When space permits bend at the knees instead of the waist to lessen the strain on your back, use both hands and slowly stand up.
  • Keep moving and engaged in your daily activities – research shows that exercising can help reduce pain.
  • When sitting down, especially at a desk, ensure you sit with your shoulders back and relaxed, feet firmly on the floor with your computer at eye level.

Chiropractors are well placed to assist Australians with managing back pain by offering a drug free alternative to not only help prevent and alleviate pain but to promote a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle.

Chiropractors also work in partnership with their patients to provide appropriate, tailored care as well as provide lifestyle advice to help prevent reoccurrence.

Why not consider a chiropractor as part of your action plan on pain? To find your local ACA chiropractor visit findachiro.org.au

  1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare: www.aihw.gov.au/reports/burden-of-disease/burden-of-disease-study-2018-key-findings
  2. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare: www.aihw.gov.au/reports/chronic-musculoskeletal-conditions/back-problems
  3. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare: www.aihw.gov.au/reports/health-welfare-expenditure/spending-on-disease-in-australia