Canadians Point out Back Pain is an Important Health Issue, and Rate Chiropractic care High

From the June 25, 2003 issues of the Ottawa Citizen, and the June 26 London Free Press, comes a written report on the remarkably high rate at which Canadians have problems with back pain. According to the article, a poll released pointed out that almost two-thirds of Canadians suffered back pain in the past 12 months, while more than 7 in 10 withstood back pain of some extent during the last two years. Dr. Greg Stewart, president of the Canadian Chiropractic Association stated, "This is information which is actually unexpected to professionals in the back-pain industry."

Results of an Environics Research Group poll conducted in April 2003 declare that four in 10 participants noted pain lasting from several days to a week and almost 1 / 3 said their problems lingered for a month or longer. About 37 % of back pain sufferers stated health conditions including surgery, pregnancy or work-related injuries have been at the root of their problems.

"It's accumulated damage; if you experienced back pain each time you lifted or whenever you bent over, well it wouldn't take very long for behavior to change." said Dr. Stewart. "Unfortunately these things are obviously gradual onset which means you actually get away with it too much until the injury is severe enough that the symptoms become very severe."

The poll also found that 88 per cent of Canadians rate back pain as a "very" or "somewhat" important health condition, ranking as important as cancer, heart disease and AIDS, to about a third of those. Fourteen per cent said they did nothing about their condition. Almost 55 per cent cited cost as a barrier to seeking treatment, usually because they wouldn't be covered by a provincial health plan or an employee benefits plan. Of those who sought help, 90 per cent said they were satisfied with treatment provided by a chiropractor.

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