National Spinal Health Week ran from the 25th to 31st of May and this year the CAANT were encouraging people to ‘Get Their Happy Back’. Every day more Australians experience low back pain, neck pain and headaches, limiting their ability to work and engage in an active healthy life. One explanation for this is the negative impact that an increasingly sedentary lifestyle has on posture. Think about all the hours you spend each day sitting at work or school, commuting, or at your computer or mobile device. Poor posture increases pressure on your spine which can cause lower back pain, neck pain, headaches and fatigue. Lower back pain is a growing problem and now ranks second in Australasia and seventh in the world according to the World Health Organisation’s latest Global Burden of Disease study. This year the CAA NT are encouraging our existing patients and the Darwin Community to begin a conversation about preventative health and wellbeing and to adopt healthy habits. Chiropractors have an important role to play in preventative health and wellbeing because they understand that a vital part of maintaining normal spinal function occurs by helping patients to make healthy lifestyle changes regarding nutrition, exercise and wellness. Helping patients make positive changes with respect to nutrition, exercise and wellness is also fundamental to maintaining normal spinal function. Adopting healthy habits today, such as improving postural fitness, can significantly reduce the risk of injury or pain in later years, positively impacting on our self-esteem, social relationships and mental health. Back, neck and other spinal problems are also a leading cause of lost productivity in the workplace and forced early retirement. Every year forced early retirement has a traumatic effect on the hopes and prosperity of a large number of Australians. So make an appointment with your local CAA NT member for a spinal health check-up and discover what steps you can take to improve your health and wellbeing and Get Your Happy Back.
You’re in good hands. This month I’d like to discuss the risks of injury with chiropractic care. In clinical practice we still encounter patients who are apprehensive about receiving care, specifically in relation to spinal manipulation. This is particularly the case if the patient is older and suffer from common complaints like Osteoporosis or an Arthritic condition. Even though there are many different techniques in our profession to treat these cases, spinal manipulation is still the backbone of what differentiates our profession from others. Recently I discovered an article from the Journal of Spine, arguably the worlds most respected journal for spinal research which anaylsed the risk of injury to the head, neck or trunk during treatment of a neuromusculoskeletal condition from a Chiropractor versus a Medical Doctor. This information was obtained from patients over the age of 65, an age bracket where there is a perceived increased risk of injury due to advanced age. This study discovered that the probability of injury in the chiropractic group was 40 injuries per 100,000 patient visits, as compared to 153 injuries per 100,000 patient visits in the Medical group. This study further concluded that for patients aged 65 and older the risk of injury to the head, neck or trunk for a neuromusculoskeletal condition was 76% lower among patients who presented to a Chiropractor as compared to those who saw a Medical Doctor. Whedon J.M. et al. Risk of Traumatic Injury Associated with Chiropractic Spinal Manipulation in Medicare Part B Beneficiaries Aged 66-99. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2014 Dec 9. [Epub ahead of print]