A report released this week by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) Australian Burden of Disease Study 2018: key findings, reveals that Australians overall health is improving. However, the report notes that 5 disease groups caused the most burden with musculoskeletal complaints accounting for 13% of the burden, second only to cancer at 18%. Injuries accounted for 8.4%. For chiropractors, this result is not surprising and confirms previous international reports that have shown that back pain is the leading cause of disability globally (1).
The study showed that risk factors contributing the most to the burden were tobacco use and overweight (including obesity) and 5 million years of health life were lost in 2018.
Apart from providing evidence-based care for the management of musculoskeletal complaints, and in particular back and neck pain, chiropractors are also well placed to assist their patients with respect to other modifiable risk factors to maintain a healthy lifestyle such as weight reduction and smoking cessation.
Further details of the report can be found here:
- Hoy, D., March, L., Brooks, P., Blyth, F., Woolf, A., Bain, C., … Buchbinder, R. (2014). The global burden of low back pain: Estimates from the Global Burden of Disease 2010 study. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, 73(6), 968–974. https://doi.org/10.1136/annrheumdis-2013-204428