Canadians Say Back Pain is an Important Health
Condition, and Rate Chiropractic High
the June 25, 2003 issues of the Ottawa Citizen, and the June 26 London
Free Press, comes a report on the surprisingly high rate at which
Canadians suffer from back pain. According to the article, a poll
released indicated that almost two-thirds of Canadians experienced back
pain in the past year, while more than seven in 10 withstood back pain of
some degree over the last two years. Dr. Greg Stewart, president of
the Canadian Chiropractic Association stated, "This is
information that is even surprising to practitioners in the back-pain
Results of an Environics Research Group poll
conducted in April 2003 suggest that four in 10 respondents reported pain
lasting from several days to a week and almost a third said their injuries
lingered for a month or longer. About 37 per cent of back pain victims
said health conditions such as surgery, pregnancy or work-related injuries
were at the root of their pain.
"It's accumulated damage; so if you had back pain
every time you lifted or when you bent over, well it wouldn't take long
for behavior to change." said Dr. Stewart. "Unfortunately these things are
obviously gradual onset and so you literally get away with it too much
until the damage 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.