EnglishfrançaisEspañol


Please bear with us while we update our French and Spanish sites

   
Text Size

 

WFC 2016 Logo multilingual
   Facebook  twitter

2018 World Spine Day stresses importance of self-help for back pain

October 15, 2018WSD18 web

Contact:                   Richard Brown
                                 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
                                 +44 7966 626694
Media interviews:     Richard Brown

PRESS RELEASE

2018 World Spine Day stresses importance of self-help for back pain

Tuesday, October 16 marks the annual World Spine Day. Organised by the World Federation of Chiropractic on behalf of the Global Alliance for Musculoskeletal Health, World Spine Day highlights the global burden of spinal pain and disability. This year’s theme, Love Your Spine, emphasises the importance of self-help in the management of back pain.

Low back pain is the biggest single global cause of years lived with disability. At any time, it is estimated that over 1 billion people around the world are suffering with low back pain, with 4 out of 5 adults experiencing at least one disabling episode during their lives. It can profoundly affect work life, home life and social life, and low back pain can lead to other health issues.  People suffering with persistent back pain are three times as likely to suffer mental health issues such as depression.

This year’s World Spine Day focuses on how people can look after their spine and help prevent episodes of back pain. Under 1% of all back pain is caused by serious underlying problems, such as cancer and infection, yet people are often fearful of exercise and daily activities because they think it will make their condition worse. This is a myth, says World Spine Day Global Coordinator, Dr Robyn Brown.

“The old-fashioned advice to rest or lie on a board has never been supported by evidence, To the contrary, prolonged rest can often lead to muscle wasting and stiffness and make the problem worse. People with back pain need to know that in the vast majority of cases, getting out, moving and continuing to live a normal life is the best treatment.”

Evidence has shown that low back pain can affect people across the life course, from schoolchildren to the elderly. A long term study in Denmark involving 1400 schoolchildren showed that over a 3 year period 55% of schoolchildren aged 5-15 suffered at least one episode of spinal pain. Although this was usually short-lived and trivial, one in five children was found to be suffering with three or more episodes per year.  Seventeen (17%) percent of episodes lasted more than 4 weeks. Worryingly, child back pain sufferers are more likely to become adult back pain sufferers.

World Spine Day reaches around the globe and has attracted over 500 partner organizations globally, from hospitals and clinics to schools to government agencies, all committed to raising awareness and educating the public. On World Spine Day, activities will take place around the globe to engage people around the #LoveYourSpine theme.

Earlier this year, The Lancet published a series of papers on low back pain. The papers were picked up by media around the world, and resulted in an explosion of social media attention, with over 15 million tweets alone. The findings of the authors were stark -  disability due to low back pain has increased by over 50% since 1990, especially in low and middle-income countries – yet access to effective services remains poor and many myths and misconceptions remain.

Dr Brown adds: “We know that back pain is complex and that it’s not just made worse by physical factors. Attitudes and anxiety around back pain as well as social factors also play a part. We call this the biopsychosocial model of back pain. One of the biggest challenges we face is that other than in a small proportion of cases it’s not possible to identify exactly what’s causing the pain.”

So who is most vulnerable to back pain?

“We do know that certain groups are more likely to report low back pain than others,” continues Dr Brown. “People with physically demanding jobs, people who have other physical and mental health issues, smokers and obese people are at the greatest risk of reporting low back pain.”

How do we prevent back pain and best advise people how to #LoveYourSpine?
The latest and best evidence does not support the use of drugs and surgery. The Lancet papers Recommend not recommended. The Lancet papers recommend education and self management strategies. Advice to get back to normal activities as quickly as possible and to exercise was seen to be most effective with psychological programs added to those with persistent symptoms.

The guidelines recommend limited use of medication, surgery and imaging, such as x-ray and MRI. In particular, inappropriate use of opioids and spinal injections for back pain came in for strong criticism.

Dr Brown says: “The most effective strategies are those that get people back to work early and educate them about the reality of back pain, that movement is medicine and that effective collaborations between patients and their health care teams of spine care professionals work best. See someone who will help you to help yourself ”

Notes for Editors
1.    Dr Robyn Brown is a medical doctor, currently working in the trauma and orthopaedics department at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital in the United Kingdom. She has been the Global Coordinator for World Spine Day since 2016.
2.    The World Federation of Chiropractic (www.wfc.org) is a global, not-for-profit, non-governmental organisation headquartered in Toronto, Canada. It has over 90 country members in 7 world regions and is in official relations with the World Health Organization.
3.    The Global Alliance for Musculoskeletal Health (www.bjdonline.org)  is a non-governmental organisation focused on highlighting the burden of musculoskeletal disorders around the world.
4.    The Lancet series of low back pain papers can be accessed at https://www.thelancet.com/series/low-back-pain

Ends

Forthcoming Events

 
QWR2019D cover sm

QWR October issue here!
Enjoy and share with friends & colleagues! 
Read past issues of WFC's Quarterly World Report here
 
WFC Principles
 
 
 
sf2020 web

11th CHIROPRACTIC EDUCATION CONFERENCE
 
  
  
 Tokyo 2021 flyer sm

SAVE THE DATE
May 12-15, 2021

 

       WSD2019 logo web

 
World Spine Day 2019
 
Get involved for a chance to WIN!
 

WFC Supporters

Thinking of becoming a WFC Individual Supporter? Learn more here.

Search

Premier Partner

 

FLICorpLogo_4CwStroke_133pixels

 

Click here to see complete Corporate Partners List

Member Login