Department of Health Sciences
World Spine Day
Every year on 16 October people from around the world join together to raise awareness on World Spine Day (WSD) as part of the Bone and Joint Decade’s Action Week.
Back pain basics – what to do
If you’ve suffered from low back pain over the past few days, or if you get back pain sometime in the future, the tendency will be to wait it out and see if it gets better. Sometimes we even decide to take time off and lie in bed, hoping we will eventually be feeling better and back to our usual activities or work. However, more and more research shows that lying in bed or waiting it out is the worst thing you can do for yourself. Remember, only 10 percent of people develop chronic low back pain, but those cases account for an estimated $100 billion a year in health care and other costs in the US alone. It’s a safe bet that most of them have taken this incorrect “wait and see” approach.
Research suggests that when it comes to back pain, early intervention is best. There are many reasons for this concept, but here is a basic summary of what current guidelines are saying:
Low back pain can sometimes be due to something more serious than a simple sprain. That’s why it’s important to see your chiropractor right away so they can evaluate you for anything more serious.
Spinal manipulation is one of the only treatments that is consistently being recommended for those with acute low back pain – and yet far too many people don’t visit a chiropractor and choose to pop over-the-counter pain medication instead.
Avoid bed rest as much as possible. Yes, I know that it feels good and frankly, when I had an episode of low back pain once, I was tempted to lie in bed all day, too. On a basic level, it’s the most “rational” thing to do. However, bed rest actually wastes away your muscles, and this effect lasts even for the lucky ones who improve with their low back pain. For those who are pain free, the bad news is that the muscles still waste away.
So, the next time you experience back pain and feel like you can’t do anything, always remember that any movement or activity or treatment that keeps you moving is crucial for your recovery. Another factor is that you may be deconditioned and not fit enough. With back pain, you can become even more deconditioned. That’s why starting to move and then progressing to an exercise program is crucial to ensure not only that you get better, but also that you don’t get future bouts of low back pain. Talk to your chiropractor for more information and advice.
Information made available by the Chiropractic Association of South Africa
- Bed Backs
- Doorway Stretch
- Straighten Up Upper Body Workout
- SUSA Research
- SUSA Lifestyle
- SUSA Adult
- SUSA Kids
- World Spine Day Tool Kit
- “Straighten Up South Africa” is intended to be incorporated in a healthy lifestyle of prudent active living. Consistent healthy choices and healthful habits form the bedrock of a healthy life. Our hope is that you make “Straighten Up” a daily part of a vibrant empowering lifestyle for the whole family.
- This version of “Straighten Up South Africa” is designed for healthy children and adults to practice daily, like brushing your teeth.
- Consult with your doctor of chiropractic or other health care provider before practicing this module, especially if you have spinal disabilities or other disorders which limit movement.
Please note these documents are the property of The Durban University of Technology and are therefore subject to Copyright.
Just Start Walking
People with healthy lifestyles are great role models for their families, friends and communities. We strongly encourage you to be active. This nine week calendar will help you to set activity goals and monitor/record your exercise and activity levels. Download the Personal Activity Calendar here.
PAR-Q and You. Regular physical activity is fun and healthy, and increasingly more people are starting to become more active every day. Being more active is very safe for most people. However, some people should check with their doctor before they start becoming much more physically active. If you are planning on becoming much more physically active than you are now, start by answering the seven questions in the questionnaire.
Improve your health and fitness in as little as 20 minutes a day!
You can improve your health and fitness in as little time as just 20 minutes a day. Read more…