How Common Are Back Problems?
October 24, 2018

The following information is frightening – Have a read and remember you are not alone.

Australian Government

Australian Institute Health and Welfare – Bulletin 137 – August 2016

Impacts of Chronic Back Problems


Chronic back problems are long-term health conditions that include specific health conditions, such as disc disorders, sciatica and curvature of the spine, and back pain or problems that are not directly associated with a specific disease (such as osteoarthritis).  They are common and associated with high impact on the community in terms of economic disease burden, as well as individuals in terms of quality of life and disability.

How Common?

In 2014-2015, an estimated 3.7 million Australians (16%, or 1 in 6 people) had chronic back problems.  The prevalence was similar for males and females and rose with age: from <1% of people aged 0-14 to 27% among people aged 65-74 before declining slightly to 24% among people aged 75 and over.  More than three-quarters (77%) of people with chronic back problems were of working age (15-64).

Economic and disease burden

In 2008-09, around 1.8% of total health-care expenditure in Australia ($1.2 billion) was attributed to back problems.

In 2011, ‘back pain and problems’ were the third leading cause of disease burden in Australia, accounting for 3.6% of the total burden across disease and injuries.

Quality of life

People with chronic back problems are more likely to report poor quality of life than those in the general population.  In 2014-15, among people with chronic back problems:

  • An estimated 8.9% perceived their health as poor, compared with 4.4% in the general population.
  • 8% experienced very high levels of psychological distress, compared with 3.7% in the general population.
  • 7% experienced very severe bodily pain, compared with 1.5% in the general population.
  • About 11% experienced no pain, compared with 31% in the general population.

So, what do you do?  According to surveys conducted there are approximately 200,000 visits to Chiropractors in Australia – all attending for a broad range of reasons.

If you are suffering back pain and looking for relief and treatment of back pain, consider seeing your local Chiropractor.  Chiropractors go to University for 5 years on a full-time basis graduating with the credentials to offer effective treatment.  It’s natural, hands on treatment that’s safe and affordable.  Maybe its time to discover how Chiropractic care could help you.