Why is it so common?
Incredibly, back and neck pain is the number one reason people take time off work and it costs Australian taxpayers $12 billion dollars every year so it’s something we all need to take seriously.
Spinal pain is something that will affect at least 70% of Australians at some point during their lives.
Our spine is vitally important for keeping us upright and protecting the nerve system. It is also sensitive to physical injuries, chemical overload, and emotional stress, especially if it is sustained for a long time.
These stresses and injuries can be quick like a car accident or much smaller like the repetitive strain of poor posture at a desk.
Our nerve systems way of protecting itself can be to stop the spine from moving and functioning properly which can change the way it communicates with the brain.
In some cases, this miscommunication lasts much longer than intended and becomes chronic because the nerve system becomes stuck trying to protect itself from the initial injury.
A perfect example is neck pain which is one of the primary reasons why people seek care at our practices.
We need the neck to move really well (mobility), but also be strong (stability) and to have optimal movement, coordination (brain to body connection). It is a comprehensive approach, just like any other body region.
A big culprit of neck pain is not having adequate postural awareness which is often associated with sedentary habits such as spending too long on the couch watching Netflix’s.
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2019. Back problems. Cat. no. PHE 231. Canberra: AIHW
- Lemeunier N1, Leboeuf-Yde C, Gagey O. The natural course of low back pain: a systematic critical literature review. Chiropr Man Therap. 2012 Oct 17;20(1):33