Some Facts About Back Pain

Statistics show that about 80 per cent of Australians will experience disabling low-back pain during their lives. About 3 million people visit a healthcare specialist for back pain each year.

Back Pain Is Common

Appropriate Treatment and Early Intervention

Seeking early treatment and receiving proper advice about back pain is very important to preventing long term problems.

If pain has been present for more than a couple of days it is a good idea to have back assessed by a Chiropractor or other qualified health care provider. There are a lot of effective treatments for back pain, including spinal manipulation and gentle mobilization.

In most circumstances, x-rays are not required during the early stages of back pain.

With the right treatment, most people will recover from back pain within the first few weeks.

Serious conditions are rarely the cause of a sore back

If the back pain is persisting for more than a few weeks, it may cause you to change the activities that you do and avoid your normal tasks. Not coping with the pain and avoiding activities may result in anxiety and create more problems in the long term.

The role of your Chiropractor is to assist you in your recovery with hands on treatment and appropriate self management.

Your Chiropractor can recommend exercises and stretches and give you guidance on how to get through your day without re-aggravation.

Resting Vs. Being Active

When you have an injury, you may have been told to rest and give your injury a chance to heal. However, being fearful of movement and avoiding exercise may be the worst things that you can do and can actually slow your recovery.

So, remain active within your pain tolerance. Those that maintain more active therapy generally recover more quickly.

Slipped Disc

Your discs are the shock absorbers of your spine. There are 26 bones (vertebrae) in your spine and the discs are located between those bones.

The discs work to cushion our spine and absorb some of the impact when we are walking, running, bending and lifting.

However, injury to the disk may cause some of the inner portion of the disc to protrude through the outer ring (similar to the way jelly might protrude from the inside of a donut).

Many people may have been told to rest when they have a slipped disc, but remaining some light activity can be beneficial to keep the ligaments warm and prevent the back from tensing up further.


When people have back pain they will often have a family member try to massage their back. However, a massage may help some causes of low back pain and make others worse.

For example, the muscle may be spasming to protect and injured and unstable region. Massaging the area without properly assessing the cause of the tightness may prevent the body from protecting itself and increase the level of pain.

Dr. Alison Leitch has completed a 4 year Doctor of Chiropractic Degree and an additional 4 year Health Science Degree. She has also completed in the Medical Acupuncture Health Sciences program from McMaster University in Canada, and is skilled in a variety to soft tissue techniques to address problems related to muscles, ligaments, nerves and fascia. Dr. Alison’s area of focus is conditions related to the joints, spine, pelvis, nerves and muscles such as back and neck pain, headaches and arthritis. Dr. Alison Leitch practices in Noosa on the Sunshine Coast.

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Maurits W van Tulder4
Editorial Group: Cochrane Back Group
Published Online: 16 Feb 2011 - Assessed as up-to-date: 5 Dec 2009
DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD008112.pub2
3. Superficial heat or cold for low back pain
French SD, Cameron M, Walker BF, Reggars JW, Esterman AJ
Editorial Group: Cochrane Back Group
Published Online: 14 Apr 2010 - Assessed as up-to-date: 11 Oct 2005
DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD004750.pub2
4. Spinal manipulative therapy for low-back pain
Assendelft WJJ, Morton SC, Yu EI, Suttorp MJ, Shekelle PG
Editorial Group: Cochrane Back Group
Published Online: 8 Oct 2008 - Assessed as up-to-date: 30 Jan 2000
DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD000447.pub2
5. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for low back pain
Roelofs PDDM,Deyo RA, Koes BW, Scholten RJPM, van Tulder MW
Editorial Group: Cochrane Back Group
Published Online: 17 Mar 2010 - Assessed as up-to-date: 16 Oct 2007
DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD000396.pub3
6. ndividual patient education for low back pain
Engers AJ, Jellema P, Wensing M, van der Windt AWM, Grol R, van Tulder MW
Editorial Group: Cochrane Back Group
Published Online: 17 Feb 2010 - Assessed as up-to-date: 24 Sep 2007
DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD004057.pub3
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Hayden J, van Tulder MW, Malmivaara A, Koes BW
Editorial Group: Cochrane Back Group
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DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD000335.pub2
8. Behavioural treatment for chronic low-back pain
Henschke N, Ostelo RWJG, van Tulder MW, Vlaeyen JWS, Morley S, Assendelft WJJ, Main CJ
Editorial Group: Cochrane Back Group
Published Online: 7 Jul 2010 - Assessed as up-to-date: 31 Jul 2009
DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD002014.pub3
9. The natural course of low back pain: a systematic critical literature review
Lemeunier N, Leboeuf-Yde C, Gagey O
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11. Combined chiropractic interventions for low-back pain
Walker BF, French SD, Grant W, Green S
Editorial Group: Cochrane Back Group
Published Online: 14 Apr 2010 -Assessed as up-to-date: 27 Nov 2009.
DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD005427.pub2