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The British Chiropractic Association reveals the effects of back pain


With the Prime Minister falling victim to a back injury, research commissioned by the British Chiropractic Association has revealed he is not alone. Over 1 in 3 people in the UK are currently suffering from back pain.

While Tony Blair may have been suffering for just a number of months, a staggering 36% of back pain sufferers have been in pain for more than 10 years and a further 12% for ‘as long as they can remember’.

So why are so many people suffering with back pain? BCA chiropractor Tim Hutchful places a great deal of blame on our sedentary lifestyles: ”We are just not as active as we used to be. We spend huge amounts of time sitting down at work and at home, but then we go from one extreme to another by working out in the gym or rushing around.”

“A non-stop election campaign has meant the Prime Minister has been constantly on the move. With this busy and stressful lifestyle, he may have made himself vulnerable to developing the back problems he is currently suffering. Our bodies are just not designed to cope with this type of unaccustomed activity and so the risk of injury heightens.”

From the BCA research, the stated cause of Tony Blair’s back pain – exercise - is the trigger for 28% male sufferers and 23% female sufferers. Other triggers include lifting/carrying; exercise and sleeping, with 24% women and 27% men blaming their beds for their pain. Amongst 15-24 year old men, 28% cited their computer as a cause for backache; whilst 26% women in the same age group put their pain down to their high heels.

Back pain can be debilitating, but even on a lesser scale it can prevent individuals carrying out day-to-day activities that most of us take for granted. Simple things like sleep can become impossible because of back pain. BCA research revealed that the top five activities that back pain prevents people from doing are:
· Sleeping (35%)
· Exercise/sport/physical activity (35%)
· Housework/DIY (29%)
· Working (27%)
· Lifting/cuddling/playing with children (27%)

Tim Hutchful, BCA, continues: “The Prime Ministerial position must be one of the single most stressful jobs in the country and this case highlights how by focusing on work, our health can be neglected. Our research has really hammered home how widespread back pain is. With so many treatment options available at the moment, we need to address the problem before it becomes part of our lifestyle. Pain is a warning sign and our advice is if there is something wrong, do something about it. The fact that people can’t sleep, work or even just cuddle their children due to back pain is shocking. We need to act now before the problem increases further. If we carry on as we are, back pain could soon affect everyone.”

It is not surprising that back pain is having such an affect on our everyday lives, the BCA research has shown that 28% of back pain sufferers feel pain on a daily basis and 14% on a weekly basis. The effect on our jobs is huge. Whilst there are the 67% that carry on regardless, 18% take up to a month off work per year and 5% take more than a month.

Physical effects aside; back pain can make people miserable. 64% of back pain sufferers feel that it has a detrimental affect on their mood and sense of well-being.

Advice on how to avoid back pain is available via your local BCA chiropractor, visit www.chiropractic-uk.co.uk or call 0118 950 5950.
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Press Enquiries and more information:
Liz Harding/Kirstie Marshall/Julie Doyle
icas PR
Tel: 020 7632 2400, Fax: 020 7240 2520

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