23, 532, 632 is the approximate number of people living in Australia.
1, 800, 000 is the approximate number of people living in Australia with current back problems.
18, 400, 000 is the approximate number of people living in Australia who will develop back problems at some point in their life.
$9,000,000,000 (that’s 9 BILLION for those playing at home), is the approximate financial burden on the Australian economy due to back problems.
Like myself, I hope you are beginning to see a bit of problem here. The statistics above are from current surveys undertaken by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). Although rough estimates, it is alarming to think that 80% of the population will suffer with a back problem throughout their life. For those of you who are all too familiar with severe and chronic back issues, you know how debilitating it can be. The scary statistic is the 9 billion dollar burden on the economy due to back problems. In a work survey of people aged 15-64 by the AIHW, 80% of subjects with back problems had an employment restriction with 36% reporting that they were unable to work at all. Did you know that of this 9 billion economic burden, 8.1 billion is due to time off work and loss of productivity!! That last one I had to read twice.
This is crazy! 8 billion dollars a year lost because of back problems. This is clearly an area in need of attention and understanding.
I would like to take a few moments educating about the important structure that is your back and what are some things you can do to prevent falling into the aforementioned categories. Your spine is a house. It houses your unique, ever important spinal cord. This is quite an important job and for most part your back does a very good job. Your spine is made up of 24 individualized vertebrae, which form a canal at the back for the spinal cord to run through. Exiting at each level are segmental spinal nerves which supply regions of the body such as individual muscles, organs, skin etc etc. To give the spine a hand we have spinal ligaments and muscles connecting each segment to aid in stability and movement. Inter-vertebral discs lie between each of the vertebrae for shock absorption and cushioning.
As you can see there is a lot going on, which means that a lot can go wrong. I wont go into the never-ending pit of back conditions, as I would be writing for days, however it is important to get across that your spine needs care. The best advice is to have a spinal check now before getting to the stage of pain. You might be surprised at the pain free, ticking time bombs in your spine just waiting for something to set it off.
Make an appointment today with one of our Chiropractors or Osteopaths and ask them about your spine. We are always happy to chat about spinal health and try to defuse any of those spinal issues waiting to go off.
Article written by Dr Michael Smith (Chiropractor)