The New Zealand Chiropractors’ Association is celebrating World Spine Day (October 16th 2023) by pointing to the burgeoning evidence for chiropractic as the drug free means of managing spinal pain.
Patients who first seek physical therapy or chiropractic care have better outcomes and shorter episodes of acute care for low back pain, according to new research from the University of Pittsburgh and published (26th September 2023) in the journal Physical Therapy.
The findings show that, for patients with acute episodes of low back pain, the first point of entry to the health care system is associated with utilisation and total cost of care in the following year. Although the latest clinical practice guidelines recommend nonpharmacologic and nonsurgical treatments, patients are often prescribed opioid pain medications or referred to specialists for procedures – including surgery, imaging or steroid injections – that do not address the root causes of their pain.
Chiropractor and NZCA spokesperson Dr Jenna Duehr explains: An estimated one billion people suffer with spinal pain with 540 million people at any one time. Low back pain remains the leading cause of years lived with disability on the planet. Spinal pain and disability are more prevalent than cancer, stroke, heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s Disease combined.’
“Move Your Spine” is the theme of this year’s World Spine Day. The 2023 campaign calls on people to care for their spines by staying active. Evidence has shown that immobility and a lack of physical activity are contributors to spinal pain and disability. Movement and a healthy spine also encourage an adaptive, responsive nervous system, something which is very important for our overall health and well-being. “Move Your Spine” encourages people of all ages, in all nations, to get active and support their spinal health through movement.
Jenna Duehr adds: ‘The evidence is clear that chiropractors can play an important role in evidence-informed, people-centred, interprofessional and collaborative care for spinal health. As New Zealand grapples with developing a health service fit for the 21st century we need to focus on the vital role of allied health professionals in keeping people out of the hospitals and enjoying a healthy and active life.’
New Zealand’s chiropractors have launched a public website (https://chiropracticnz.org), taking the lead to inform, educate and inspire people to enhance their overall health and prevent pain and disability by improving their posture, addressing spinal problems and engaging in physical activity.