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The Lowdown on Low Back Pain


I see first hand the devastating effects of chronic low back pain on individual lives.


I wish I could get a new back.

I am tired of living with this pain.

I wish I could go to the gym with my friends and do deadlifts with them.

I miss being able to pick up my daughter without excruciating pain.

I want to clean my house without having to take a break.



These are common things I hear from my patients when I first meet them.


Chronic low back pain is an unfortunate reality for many people here in Australia and around the world.


According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, one in six Australians suffers from chronic back problems. [1] That means one in six people around you has lived with, endured, and suffered from persistent lower back pain for three months or more.


And for all you reading this right now, 70-90% will experience lower back pain at some point in your life, if you haven't already [2].


There was a study conducted at the University of Sydney in 2014, and it found that the number one reason for missed work here in Australia, wasn’t stress, wasn’t the common cold, but you guessed it, regular old back pain. The published data shows that in Australia, back pain is the leading cause of work loss days with 25% of sufferers in the 18-44 age group taking 10 or more days off per year, and costing Australia around $4.8 billion each year for health care. [3]


Study after study shows that low back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and for nearly all people with low back pain, it is not possible to identify a specific cause of their pain [4]





What do these stats tell us?


Back pain is a massive problem that plagues us! With all the advances in health care, why haven't we been able to tackle this condition? Why haven’t we found a cure for low back pain?


The reason for this is lower back pain itself is not the problem. It is merely a symptom of the underlying problem, and that is movement dysfunction.


In 2021, we move in ways contrary to how our bodies are designed to move. Many of us endure chronic low back pain because we do not move the way we were designed to. If you’ve read my March blog post, you’ll remember that we are born with ideal posture and ideal movement patterns.


Let’s look at an example. If I were to go to Castle Towers and observe people’s gait (movement) patterns, I might notice that someone’s mid-back has no movement and that their low back has too much movement. This is a faulty pattern. The correct movement pattern is thoracic mobility and lumbar spine stability. With the faulty movement pattern mentioned above, there would be overloading of lower back joints. After many years of repeating this gait pattern, the result would be wear and tear of the spine.


Skeleton, human body, joint by joint approach
Joint by Joint approach- the stability vs mobility man


Here at Balanced for Life, we assess the movement patterns of each patient. With chiropractic adjustments, we restore movement to joints that have lost their full range of motion, and also prescribe exercises to help restore proper movement patterns in order to prevent overloading the joints in the future.


And what if you don’t have pain? We can observe your movements patterns too, so we can help you move better and prevent pain in the future (this is something we are super passionate about!)


As we always say here at Balanced for Life, Moving Better Matters.



[1] Aihw.gov.au. 2017. Web

[2]https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/chronic-musculoskeletal-conditions/back-problems/contents/impact-of-back-problems

[3] https://www.sydney.edu.au/news/84.html?newsstoryid=13283

[4} Hartvigsen et al. What is Low Back Pain and Why we need to pay attention. The Lancet. June 2018.






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