Back pain can be a serious, ongoing cause of concern and there are many recommendations on what to do about it. In this blog Glen Waverley Chiropractor, Dr Shaun Beovich looks at a recent study that sheds light on a common approach to treating back pain.
The Global Burden of Disease Study has declared lower back and neck pain to be Australia’s leading cause of ongoing disability and poor health. It ranked more highly than ischaemic heart disease (the leading cause of premature death) and depressive disorders, and the years lost because of this disability have increased significantly. So what to do about it?
Following is a media release from The George Institute for Global Health:
Commonly used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs used to treat back pain provide little benefit, but cause side effects, according to new research from The George Institute for Global Health.
The findings of the systematic review, published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, reveal only one in six patients treated with the pills, also known as NSAIDs, achieve any significant reduction in pain.
The study is the latest work from The George Institute questioning the effectiveness of existing medicines for treating back pain. Earlier research has already demonstrated paracetamol is ineffective and opioids provide minimal benefit over placebo.
Lead author Associate Professor Manuela Ferreira says the study highlights an urgent need to develop new therapies to treat back pain which affects 80 per cent of Australians during their lifetime.
A/Prof Ferreira, Senior Research Fellow at The George Institute and at the Institute of Bone and Joint Research, said: “Back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide and is commonly managed by prescribing medicines such as anti-inflammatories. But our results show anti-inflammatory drugs actually only provide very limited short term pain relief. They do reduce the level of pain, but only very slightly, and arguably not of any clinical significance.”
A/Prof Ferreira added: “When you factor in the side effects which are very common, it becomes clear that these drugs are not the answer to providing pain relief to the many millions of Australians who suffer from this debilitating condition every year.”
The team at The George Institute, which examined 35 trials involving more than 6000 people, also found patients taking anti-inflammatories were 2.5 times more likely to suffer from gastro-intestinal problems such as stomach ulcers and bleeding.
Research Fellow Gustavo Machado, of The George Institute and the School of Medicine at the University of Sydney, said: “Millions of Australians are taking drugs that not only don’t work very well, they’re causing harm. We need treatments that will actually provide substantial relief of these people’s symptoms.
“Better still we need a stronger focus on preventing back pain in the first place. We know that education and exercise programs can substantially reduce the risk of developing low back pain.”
Most clinical guidelines currently recommend NSAIDs as the second line analgesics after paracetamol, with opioids coming at third choice.
Neck pain and headaches due to school-related activities appears to be on the increase according to Glen Waverley Chiropractor, Dr Shaun Beovich. The cause seems to be the use of laptops, tablets and phones by students. With the start of the new school year it’s a good time to get the use of this technology right now.
This technology is definitely good and valuable for the student to use, however excessive use and poor posture may contribute to neck pain, headaches and shoulder discomfort. The underlying cause is forward head posture.
Forward head posture increases the pressure and strain being placed on your neck joints, muscles and ligaments. Over time this may lead to discomfort across the shoulders, neck pain and even headaches.
3 simple tips to help avoid this.:
- Limit the use – regular breaks away from the screen
- Raise the device up – lift the device up higher to decrease the time and angle of looking down
- Stretch – do the opposite. Look up, bring the shoulders back and do some shoulder shruga and rolls.
Technology is beneficial but for young spines it’s best to get into good habits now. For a free spinal or backpack check-up for your student, contact Waverley Chiropractic Centre in Glen Waverley now on 88395364 or book online at www.waverleychiro.com.au . Check out our Youtube channel or facebook page.
At Waverley Chiropractic Centre located at 490 Springvale Rd, Glen Waverley we are offering free backpack check-ups for all school kids up until the end of February.
The end of January is a busy time in our household as 6 kids get ready for the new school year. Making sure that backpacks fit properly is an essential part of getting ready for the year.
Heavy, poorly fitted and packed backpacks may lead to spinal health problems in children. We have your back with these handy 5 backpack tips.
Tip 1: Pack the heaviest items closest to the spine
The closer the weight of the school backpack is to the spine, the less the load that is put onto your childs’ back thus helping to reduce the chance of discomfort or back pain. Ideally the backpack and contents should be less than 10% of your childs’ body weight. That’s not much! So encourage your child to take the minimum to and from school.
Tip 2: Make sure to do all the zips up
Apart from stopping to allow items to fall out, zipping up your bag will decrease the space from the outer part of your backpack to your back, therefore decreasing the strain on your spine.
Tip 3: Secure the sternum, waist and compression straps
These straps are there for a reason! They help to compress your bag and also give stability whilst walking, avoiding unnecessary stress onto your childs’ back.
Tip 4: Always use both shoulder straps
More and more kids are doing this now, which is great. It helps to distribute the weight evenly through your childs’ back.
Tip 5: Don’t wear below the hollow of the lower back
This is a major problem. It may look trendy but it also puts extra strain onto your childs’ back. You may want to cut off the straps so your child can’t wear the bag around their bottom!!
For more information on maintaining a healthy spine or to book a backpack check-up, please visit the Waverley Chiropractic Centre website at www.waverleychiro.com.au or phone 88395364. Check our Youtube clip on these tips here.
It’s almost school time again! As parents begin preparations to send children back to school, Dr Shaun Beovich from Waverley Chiropractic Centre in Glen Waverely would like to remind them that heavy, poorly fitted and packed backpacks may lead to spinal health problems in children.
Spinal health problems can often go unnoticed. However, poor posture, back pain or “growing pains” need not become an accepted part of everyday life for your child.
When choosing a backpack for your child, choose one that allows for even distribution of weight across the back. Otherwise the backpack can place unhealthy stress on a child’s spine.
School can be a challenging time for any child, so ensuring they are as comfortable as possible is important for their physical and mental development.
Despite the increased use of technology in schools, schoolchildren still overload their backpacks with textbooks, sports and other gear or simply do not wear them correctly.
Next up I’ll be bringing you 5 simple tips for wearing a backpack and how chiropractic may help your child.
There are up to 300,000 patient visits to Australian chiropractors each week. Chiropractic care is concerned with the diagnosis, management and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system, and the effects of these disorders on the function of the nervous system and general health.
Chiropractic is a low risk profession with an enviable safety record in Australia, a result of evidence based care delivered by five year university educated healthcare professionals.
For more information on maintaining a healthy spine, please visit the Waverley Chiropractic Centre website at www.waverleychiro.com.au
Following on from 2 recent blogs on inflammation and exercise comes this research found in Brain, Behaviour and Immunity which suggests that just a little bit of exercise has health benefits.
The study found that just 20 minutes of exercise helps to fight inflammation in the body.
47 people walked on a treadmill briskly for 20 minutes and blood samples were analysed before and after. The researchers found that this amount of exercise reduced inflammatory markers in the body.
Previously I’ve spoken about research that suggested chiropractic care for lower back pain reduces inflammatory markers and how just exercising on the weekend can be of benefit. So this study kind of combines the two!
Again the key here is to just do some exercise, no matter how short it is. We’re all stressed for time these days however just a little bit of exercise can impact your health in a good way. Get exercising!
Inflammation and exercise: Inhibition of monocytic intracellular TNF production by acute exercise via β2-adrenergic activation. Stoyan Dimitrova, Elaine Hultenga, Suzi Honga. Brain, Behaviour and Immunity. Published online 21 Dec 2016.
Great news for all those weekend warriors, who find it hard to exercise regularly through the week. Glen Waverley chiropractor, Dr Shaun Beovich from Waverley Chiropractic Centre reports on recent research that suggests that weekend-only exercise is almost as beneficial as doing it every day.
As a Chiropractor, Dr Shaun has always encouraged exercise for his patients suffering from back pain and neck pain. Your spine loves movement! However with the busyness of today we often struggle to fit in the time to exercise through the week and then try and make up for it on the weekend. Is this good enough?
A recent study of 64,000 people seems to suggest that moderate occasional exercise is almost as good as regular exercise. Of course to be exercising regularly is the ideal however if you can only get out and exercise on the weekend your heart still benefits!
The results showed that the risk of all-cause mortality was 30% lower in adults who did at least some regular exercise (which includes weekend warriors!).
So a good long bike ride, or some kind of sport, at the weekend is enough to stop you from dying early. A little is a lot better than nothing.
Ok, so get going! The new year is young, resolutions still fresh in the mind…get exercising. Good for your back but also your overall health. Check out www.waverleychiro.com.au for more and our youtube channel.
JAMA Intern Med. Association of “Weekend Warrior” and Other Leisure Time Physical Activity Patterns With Risks for All-Cause, Cardiovascular Disease, and Cancer Mortality. Gary O’Donovan, PhD; I-Min Lee, ScD; Mark Hamer, PhD; et al. Published online January 9, 2017. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.8014
Can Chiropractic care for lower back pain change inflammatory markers? Glen Waverley chiropractor, Dr Shaun Beovich, sheds some light on lower back pain and a preliminary study that indicates some promising results.
About 3.7 million Australians (16% of the population) have back problems. It is estimated that 70–90% of people will suffer from lower back pain in some form at some point in their lives. And no wonder, as we seem to be stuck in a pattern of sitting throughout the day. From breakfast to getting to work, on the computer at work and then getting home and sitting at the end of the day again.
Low back pain causes inflammation around the joints, nerves and ligaments. This inflammation can be measured by checking inflammatory markers such as interleukin-6 (IL-6) and C-reactive protein (CRP).
An interesting study focused on the link between chiropractic care and inflammatory markers, giving preliminary indications that chiropractic can make a difference in terms of inflammation.
The study took chronic pain sufferers, who received chiropractic adjustments to the lower back and compared their inflammatory markers with a pain-free control group.
9 chiropractic visits over a two-week period was given, and key inflammatory markers (IL-6 and CRP) were evaluated. The adjustments specifically targeted the lower back.
Through double-blinded testing, the researchers arrived at the conclusion that chiropractic adjustments reduced inflammatory markers. The results showed normalising inflammatory markers.
This is good news for low back pain suffers and chiropractors. Back pain can take time to heal but after just 2 weeks of chiropractic care, the body can start to normalize inflammation levels.
This study adds to the various studies have shown that chiropractic care is effective for managing low back pain. To learn more about chiropractic and if it can help your lower back pain visit www.waverleychiro.com.au or check our youtube channel.
Roy, R, Boucher, J and Comtois, A (2010), “Inflammatory response following a short-term course of chiropractic treatment in subjects with and without chronic low back pain,” Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, 2010 Sep; 9(3):107-114.
Headaches seem to be getting more common. Perhaps it’s poor posture or increased stress but chiropractor Dr Shaun Beovich from Waverley Chiropractic Centre in Glen Waverley confirms more and more patients are seeking relief from headaches. Two recent research studies show that Chiropractic can help.
There are many varieties of headaches from tension headaches to neck-related ones (cervicogenic), sinus headaches and even migrainous headaches which are more vascular in origin plus many more! Let’s look at 5 ways you may be able to get relief from headaches.
- Massage – using your fingers to massage the little muscles at the back of your head, between your head and neck. This may cause pain up into your head but may also relieve some of the discomfort.
- Ice – heat feels nice but ice onto those muscles you massaged at the back of your head may help relieve your headache. Everything gets a bit inflamed with headaches so cooling it down with ice for 5-10 minutes may be beneficial.
- Water – keep hydrated with plenty of water through the day. Sometimes dehydration can contribute to headaches.
- Exercise – low-impact exercise like a gentle walk may help with your headache. Some headaches require rest and quiet but often the tension/neck headaches may respond well to movement.
- Chiropractic – saving the best for last. Research studies published in The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeuticals in 2014 and 2011 showed that spinal manipulation and chiropractic is effective for tension headaches, migraines and neck-related headaches.
Many people just put up with their headaches thinking that popping some pain relief pills will do the trick. I urge you to try these tips, particularly getting your headache assessed by a chiropractor. If you are in the Glen Waverely, Wheelers Hill, Brandon Park or Mulgrave area, for a consultation to see if you may benefit from chiropractic care, call Waverley Chiropractic in Glen Waverley on 88395364 or book online at www.waverelychiro.com.au
Neck pain is frustrating. It’s literally a pain in the neck! You wake up in the morning and bang, your neck has seized up. The rest of the day your neck is aching, you have to do body turns, shoulder muscles tighten up, headaches develop and you’re just plain grumpy.
Your neck has a bowling ball on top of it. Yep your head weighs about the same as a bowling ball and so your neck must support it. No wonder it is susceptible to seizing up. And poor posture like forward head posture magnifies the weight that your neck must support.
So, it seizes up. The joints in your neck lock up, nerves that exit here become irritated leading to changes in function and eventually pain. There is a disconnect between your brain sending out and receiving messages through the spinal nerves from your neck.
The great news is that chiropractic may help relieve your neck pain. Through specific adjustments to restore movement in your neck and reduce nerve irritation, neck pain may resolve.
Good posture, a supportive pillow, ice and heat may all help as well. So, take care of your neck, remember it supports a bowling ball and seek chiropractic care if required. Check out www.waverleychiro.com.au
Happy New Year! It’s Dr Shaun Beovich from Waverley Chiropractic Centre here in Glen Waverley, Melbourne, Australia. I hope you and your family have a healthy 2017.
It’s the time of year when many set new year resolutions or goals. And that’s fine. So whether it’s to get fit, lose some weight, be a better parent, earn more, travel or get right with God, I say go for it. Try to make some a bit smaller and attainable and other goals a bit bigger and harder to obtain. A challenge! But whatever you do, start now!
There are two aspects I want to touch on briefly in relation to your resolutions this year. Check out my video on this here.
The first is to be persistent. We are good at being enthusiastic and working hard on our goals for a few days, even a week or so but then our enthusiasm fades, our commitment and discipline is poor and we lose sight of our goals.
How does persistence relate to Chiropractic care? In looking after thousands of patients with back pain, neck pain, headaches etc over nearly 22 years, I’ve noticed that a lack of persistence is often a stumbling block in obtaining relief from back pain and realising great health.
Your body takes time to heal. Back pain and neck pain are health issues that can have debilitating effects on your wellbeing. They can be complex at times and so take time to respond. Too often we want the quick fix, the back pain to be gone now. This is where persistence is required.
Instead of giving up and not seeing our care through we need to be persistent in our chiropractic care, our exercises, walking, doing the right thing to alleviate back pain. So make persistence part of your chiropractic care as you tackle your back pain, neck pain, headaches etc.
The second aspect of new year resolutions is to make happiness part of your goals. We all want to be happy. Money, possessions, and social standing can’t get you happiness. It’s often though a result of doing good, having fulfilling relationships and a sense of achievement. Unfortunately, it’s an emotion that can come and go. Something better than happiness is joy.
For me my faith in God gives me joy, an everlasting joy, that doesn’t go up and down depending on how I’m feeling. But let’s get back to happiness.
How does that relate to chiropractic care and your back and neck pain? Well when we are suffering from back pain, neck pain, headaches or migraines are we happy or unhappy? Most of the time we are grumpy! Pain modifies our behaviour and our sense of happiness.
So what chiropractic can offer is to get your happiness back by decreasing your back pain, neck pain headaches and migraines. To give you pain relief, making you happy and others around you.
But it’s not just about pain relief. People often seek chiropractic care to help remain pain free and happy! Chiropractic may help keep your brain, nerves, muscles etc connected and therefore functioning to their fullest potential making everyone happy!
So, make 2017 a year of persistence and happiness not just in life but with your chiropractic care. Perhaps even some joy may sneak in. Take care.