EnglishfrançaisEspañol


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

   
Text Size

 

WFC 2016 Logo multilingual
   Facebook  twitter

News / Publications

WHO Focus on Low Back Pain Demonstrates Unprecedented Opportunities For Chiropractors

June 5, 2019

PRESS RELEASE

WHO Headquarters Geneva webToronto, June 5, 2019 The World Health Organization has published a paper in its Bulletin that warns of the risks of over-medicalizing the management of low back pain, instead advocating care that chiropractors are highly qualified to provide.
 
The paper (1), authored by leading experts from Australia and the UK, proposes non-drug, non-surgical approaches as the first line treatments for low back pain. They include advice, education and reassurance with manual therapies including spinal manipulation for patients at risk of developing chronicity.
 
The paper’s authors were particularly critical of the overuse of spinal surgery, hospitalization, injections, complex pharmaceuticals and diagnostic imaging. This mirrored the strong evidence cited in a series of articles on low back pain published last year in The Lancet.
 
The WHO Bulletin paper found that despite international recommendations, it was conservatively estimated that 32% of care provided for low back pain in the USA was inconsistent with clinical guidelines, including a rise of 62% in elective spinal fusion surgery (2004-2015) in the USA, despite no good evidence of benefit over non-surgical care.
 
“As spine care specialists, chiropractors are perfectly positioned to provide evidence-based, people-centered care for low back pain,” said WFC President Dr Vivian Kil. “All of the top guidelines published in the past few years are telling us that non-surgical, non-drug care is the preferred approach. Spinal manipulation is increasingly being seen as the treatment of choice. Chiropractors are highly skilled in this technique but can also deliver many of the other recommended interventions, such as patient education, soft tissue techniques and self-management advice.”
 
For chronic persistent low back pain, the guidelines recommend a multidisciplinary approach. As part of its #BeEPIC campaign, the WFC recommends interprofessional and collaborative care and increasingly chiropractors are engaging positively with spine care professionals from other disciplines.
 
WFC Secretary-General Richard Brown commented: “As well as meeting demand in high-income countries, more chiropractors are needed around the world to deliver evidence-based care to underserved communities. We know that in low- and middle-income countries many people have no access to health care, let alone spine care. Chiropractors have all the skills to make a real difference to the lives of those suffering from spinal pain and disability.”
 
The WHO Bulletin paper criticizes the persistent use of opiate painkillers for chronic back pain despite research showing limited benefit and the US Center for Disease Control being very clear that they should not be used for chronic, non-cancer pain. Yet many health systems remain non-compliant with guidelines at the expense of patient outcomes and huge costs.
 
As spine care experts, chiropractors are well-placed to re-educate patients around the many myths and misconceptions surrounding back pain management. Dr Kil continues, “Back pain is one of those conditions where everyone wants to give advice, but the reality is that it is not always grounded in evidence. Staying active and mobile may seem unnatural when you’re in pain, but it works and the guidelines support this approach.”

Reference
1.    Traeger AC, Buchbinder R, Eishaug AG, Croft PR, Maher CG. Bulletin of the World Health Organization 2019;97:423-433. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.2471/BLT.18.226050
Notes
•    The WFC is the only chiropractic organization to be a non-state actor in official relations with WHO.
•    It represents the national chiropractic organisations of over 90 countries in 7 global regions.
•    Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, its current Interim President is Dr Vivian Kil of the Netherlands.

 

Rehabilitation Competency Framework published

May 30, 2019

For immediate release

PRESS RELEASE

 Commentary
 The development of a global chiropractic rehabilitation competency framework by the World Federation of Chiropractic 
 Pierre Côté, Deborah Sutton, Richard Nicol, Richard Brown and Silvano Mior
 Chiropractic & Manual Therapies 2019, 27:29 | Published on: 29 May 2019

Pierre CôtéLow back pain is the leading cause of years lived with disability on the planet. Neck pain is the sixth most common. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 74% of years lived with disability are the result of health conditions that may benefit from rehabilitation, yet the global need for rehabilitation is unmet, especially in low- and middle- income countries (1).  

The WFC’s Disability and Rehabilitation Committee (DRC) encourages the engagement of chiropractors in matters relating to disability prevention and rehabilitation. As spine and musculoskeletal care experts, chiropractors are well-placed to assess the needs of patients and support them in self-management, lifestyle advice and dedicated rehabilitation.

Following a call from WHO to contribute to the Rehabilitation 2030: A Call To Action campaign, the WFC DRC created and submitted a rehabilitation competency framework. This has now been published in Chiropractic and Manual Therapies.

Chair of the WFC DRC, Professor Pierre Côté (pictured) commented: “Chiropractors have an important role to play in both preventing disability and actively engaging in rehabilitation for their patients. We hope that this new framework will be adopted by chiropractic educational institutions and organizations as a model for empowering clinicians in the care of their patients.”  

Reference:
(1) World Health Organization (2018) Need to scale up rehabilitation. https://www.who.int/disabilities/care/Need-to-scale-up-rehab-July2018.pdf?ua=1

   

WFC Announces Interim President

May 15, 2019

For immediate release

PRESS RELEASE

Vivian KilToronto, May 15, 2019. The World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC) has appointed Dr Vivian H.E. Kil as its Interim President. Dr Kil, who has been a member of the WFC Board since 2016, is a past president of the Netherlands Chiropractic Association and recently completed her term of office as Vice-President of the European Chiropractors Union.

Dr Kil took office as Interim President on May 2, 2019 following the resignation of Dr Laurie Tassell. The current term of office for Executive Officers expires in May 2020.

Dr Kil was elected to the Executive Committee in March 2018, which oversees the day-to-day activities of the WFC and works closely with the Secretariat. As Interim President she will lead the Board, which comprises 13 directors drawn from the WFC’s 7 world regions. She is the first woman president in the WFC’s 31-year history.

Speaking after her appointment as Interim President, Dr Kil said: “I am grateful for the confidence that the Board has placed in me to lead the WFC at this exciting time in its development. With unanimous support by the Assembly in Berlin of our new strategic plan and our global #BeEPIC campaign, we have tremendous opportunities to support and build chiropractic around the world.”

Dr Kil is a graduate of AECC University College in the United Kingdom. She is a full-time clinician and the owner of a multidisciplinary clinic in the Netherlands town of Beek, near to the Belgian border.

WFC Secretary-General Richard Brown commented: “The appointment by the Board of Dr Kil as Interim President is an historic development for the WFC. It reflects our strong commitment to diversity and equality of opportunity and we are proud to have someone with Dr Kil’s character and leadership experience serving as Interim President. Our constituent members around the world can have every confidence that our highly committed Board is being led by someone of such ability and integrity.”

The WFC wishes to put on record its thanks to Dr Tassell for his service as President over the past 14 months.

   

Global Diversity As WFC Announces Council 2019-2022

January 28, 2019

For immediate release

PRESS RELEASE

Toronto, Canada: The World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC) has announced its Council for the period 2019-2022.

The Council, which serves as the WFC’s board of directors, is comprised of 13 chiropractors who are drawn from the organization’s 7 world regions: Africa, Asia, Eastern Mediterranean, Europe, Latin America, North America and Pacific.

With longstanding members of Council stepping down after years of service to the WFC, the new Council features 5 new faces: Dr Ayla Azad of Canada, Dr Kendrah da Silva of South Africa, Dr Gian Joerger of Switzerland, Dr David Peeace of Canada and Dr Holly Tucker of the United States of America.

The newly-elected Council takes office in March ahead of the joint WFC / ECU Congress in Berlin.

Secretary-General Dr Richard Brown commented, “In this new Council we have a team of extremely talented individuals. They are truly representative of the global chiropractic profession and bring enormous collective leadership experience, vast knowledge of the profession, and skills in an array of areas. The 2019-2022 WFC Council is perfectly placed to implement our new strategic plan and further develop our role as the global voice of the chiropractic profession.”

Members of WFC Council are nominated by their regions and may be elected or appointed. Council serves as the governing body of the WFC between Assemblies of Members, which are held every 2 years. The Executive Committee, comprising the President, two Vice-Presidents and the Secretary-Treasurer, is elected from among members of Council.

WFC President Dr Laurie Tassell said: “I look forward to working with the new Council. This is an exciting time for the profession with many opportunities to play an increasingly important role in healthcare. Our engagement with its Constituent Member national associations, educational institutions, donors and supporters and our status in official relations with the World Health Organization make the WFC a unique international body. Having worked through a detailed governance review over the past two years, we’re more confident than ever of being able to support, empower, promote and advance the profession as a modern, effective, versatile organization.”

New Council 2019 2022

   

Greg Kawchuk re-appointed as WFC Research Chair

January 15, 2019

For immediate release

PRESS RELEASE

Greg Kawchuk web
Professor Greg Kawchuk has been re-appointed as Chair of the World Federation of Chiropractic’s Research Committee.

As Chair of the Research Committee since 2015, Dr Kawchuk (pictured, right) leads a team of leading international experts that serves to advise the WFC Council on matters of science and research.

WFC President, Dr Laurie Tassell said of the re-appointment, “Dr Kawchuk is an outstanding ambassador for the WFC and for chiropractic. The Council is delighted to re-appoint him for a second term of office and looks forward to the Research Committee continuing to support the work of the WFC. The World Federation strongly endorses an evidence-based, patient-centered, interprofessional and collaborative approach in chiropractic. The role of the Research Committee is integral to advancing this model by informing Council’s decision-making and maintaining its knowledge of existing and emerging scientific literature.”

Dr Kawchuk, a 1990 graduate of Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC), was awarded his PhD in Bioengineering from the University of Calgary in 2000. He holds the title of Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine in the Faculty of Physical Therapy at the University of Alberta. He also holds adjunct positions at the University of Southern Denmark and at CMCC.

Dr Kawchuk is also one of the founders of the Chiropractic Academy of Research Leadership (CARL), an initiative that supports early career researchers around the world.

Speaking after his re-appointment was confirmed, Dr Kawchuk said, “I would like to thank the WFC for placing its trust in me to lead the Research Committee for a further 4 years. It will be an exciting time for the chiropractic profession as it furthers its commitment to evidence-based, patient-centered care. As well as coordinating the WFC Suggested Reading List for Chiropractic, my committee is pleased to coordinate the scientific component of the WFC’s Biennial Congress, the largest showcase in the world for chiropractic research. As knowledge continues to evolve, the Research Committee looks forward to supporting the WFC leadership in its important work."

   

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

   

Page 1 of 6

Forthcoming Events

 
QWR2019B CoveR web banner
 
QWR April issue here!
Enjoy and share with friends & colleagues!
Read past issues of WFC's Quarterly World Report here
 
 
 Tokyo 2021 flyer sm

SAVE THE DATE
May 12-15, 2021

 

       WSD2019 logo web

 
World Spine Day 2019

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