World Spine Day - October 16, 2007

October 16th 2007 is "World Spine Day" as declared by the World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC), and observed by numerous chiropractic organizations around the world. According to the WFC "World Spine Day is specifically designed to create leverage for spinal health advocacy and increased public awareness regarding the burden of spinal disorders."

World Spine Day is part of a multi faceted health awareness movement as part of the "Bone and Joint Decade." It was on January 13, 2000, that the Bone and Joint Decade was formally launched at the headquarters of the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. According to the Bone and Joint Decade's website, "The goal of the Bone and Joint Decade is to improve the health- related quality of life for people with musculoskeletal disorders throughout the world. These disorders are the most notorious and common causes of severe long-term pain and physical disability, affecting hundreds of millions of people across the world. The Decade aims to raise awareness and promote positive actions to combat the suffering and costs to society associated with musculoskeletal disorders such as joint diseases, osteoporosis, spinal disorders, severe trauma to the extremities and crippling diseases and deformities in children."

One of the organizations also participating in this event is the Congress of Chiropractic State Associations. In their September 24, 2007 release they urge all chiropractic associations to support the initiative by promoting World Spine Day 2007 to the doctors in their respective organizations.

Part of the observance of World Spine Day is a program known as "Straighten Up America". According to the Bone and Joint Decade release: "Straighten Up America was set up to celebrate World Spine Day in collaboration with the United States Bone and Joint Decade. Doctors of chiropractic will be teaching patients, school children, civic organizations, corporations and others simple enjoyable exercises to improve their spinal health." There are similar "Straighten Up" programs in numerous countries throughout the world including South Africa and Australia.

According to their website, http://www.straightenupamerica.org/ , Straighten Up America is a bold and innovative health promotion initiative designed to empower the American people toward better spinal health and an improved quality of life." This website has a lot of helpful and health information on spinal health. A video on Straighten Up America and spinal health was produced by Life University and can be seen at: http://www.life.edu/chiropractic_and_wellness/SUA_video.asp .