Spinal Health Week 2017

TLC CEO, chiropractor and researcher Dr. Angela Todd has spent the past 6 years studying and publishing papers on Chiropractic care as it relates to children. As part of Spinal Health Week 2017 (22-28 May), she is raising the awareness of the effect of spinal dysfunction in children and adolescents and how this may be associated with longer term, or chronic pain in adulthood.
Dr Todd has drawn conclusions from her work over the past several years, based on various studies, but a 2013 study published in the journal of BMC Paediatrics, discussed how low back pain was common in children and adolescents and the authors of the paper reported that it was becoming a public health concern (1).

More recently in early 2017 a 3-year Danish study of more than 1000 children aged between 8-15 years of age concluded that whilst most of the children had only one episode of back pain lasting for up to a week, at least one quarter of the whole group had pain lasting for more than 4-5 weeks, and up to four episodes a year (2).

The authors of this paper also discuss the potential health problems in relation to the use of pain killer medication in children with long term pain (3), and how other authors have also found an association between low back pain in adolescence and low back pain into adulthood (4).

Chiropractors are suitably placed to check the function of your child’s spine and as they grow and develop throughout life. Chiropractors undertake a 5-year university qualification and are registered health professionals who use a variety of age appropriate manual therapy treatments, give advice on exercise, nutrition and lifestyle changes, and where needed will refer you to other healthcare providers to assist with your care.

Spinal Health Week serves as a reminder to us all, that it is not just our teeth we need to look after throughout our life, but our spine is equally as important.

TLC Chiropractors are making themselves available to perform spinal screen examinations for your family, so call your local TLC chiropractor to book an appointment during Spinal Health Week 22-28th of May.

1. Prevalence of low back pain in children and adolescents: a meta-analysis. Inmaculada Calvo-Muñoz, Antonia Gómez-Conesa, and Julio Sánchez-Meca BMC Pediatrics 2013, 13:14

2. Spinal pain in Danish school children –how often and how long? The CHAMPS Study-DK Kristina Boe Dissing, Lise Hestbæk, Jan Hartvigsen, Christopher Williams, Steven Kamper5, Eleanor Boyle, and Niels Wedderkopp. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders (2017) 18:67

3. Gobina I, Villberg J, Villerusa A, Valimaa R, Tynjala J, Ottova-Jordan V, Ravens- Sieberer U, Levin K, Cavallo F, Borraccino A, et al. Self- reported recurrent pain and medicine use behaviours among 15-year olds: results from the international study. Eur J Pain. 2015;19(1):77– 84.

4. Hestbaek L, Leboeuf-Yde C, Kyvik KO, Manniche C. The course of low back pain from adolescence to adulthood: 8-year follow-up of 9600 twins. Spine. 2006;31(4):468–72.

Tips to Prevent Back Pain

For many people, back pain can be prevented or managed with appropriate lifestyle changes and care. It is never too late or too early to take steps to improve spinal health. Improving overall lifestyle can help prevent chronic back problems and may also address other health issues.

Stay Active

People with chronic back problems may find it difficult to exercise but they should try to remain as active as possible. The best way is to seek advice, start gradually, be consistent and build capability over time.

People who use exercise as a treatment for chronic back pain find that it reduces back pain intensity. This effect has been observed in multiple studies and it has been found that exercise has a positive effect on pain.3

Staying active is one of the most important things you can do to strengthen your spine, reduce the severity of chronic pain symptoms and improve overall wellbeing. No matter which activity you choose, proper posture is important.

Check with your local CAA chiropractor or other healthcare professional before undertaking exercise to make sure it is appropriate for your specific needs.

Use the Just Start Walking app to incorporate walking into your daily routine. Download from the App Store.

Lifestyle Changes

Poor posture increases pressure on your spine and can cause tension, soreness, headaches, back pain and fatigue. Good posture keeps the body in its best shape and natural position. This may reduce wear and tear of joints, relieve stress and improve overall health.

Incorporating mobility into your daily routine could also help with back pain. Sitting or lying down in one position for a long time isn’t good for your back. Staying active can relieve the strain and help improve circulation to the body. Seek advice from your chiropractor or other healthcare professional on which activities are best for you.

Download the CAA Back app from the App Store to receive reminders and helpful tips on how to improve your posture.