Yes. You read it right. Surprised?
Believe me, having near a decade of experience, I have treated more than 1500 patients with back pain. And while just surfing the net for my professional upgrade I fall upon this recent study from University of Sydney, which to a surprise to me found that those with back pain have a 13 % higher chance of dying prematurely.
It's not that I was unaware of the effects on morbidity and quality of life which back pain has, it is the 13 % increased risk of mortality per year lived which makes me think that how serious this problem is and still is easily overlooked by everyone.
Senior researcher Associate Professor Paulo Ferreira of the University's Faculty of Health Sciences was not surprised by the findings.“Back pain has some important consequences later in life and people are not aware of this,” he said.
“This is a significant finding as many people think that back pain is not life-threatening,” said lead author Dr. Matthew Fernandez.
As for the fact that the findings were not causal, Ferreira said that although “there was not an independent association” back pain tends to create a domino effect that negatively impacts our health and increases our likelihood of premature death.
Given how common back pain is, Ferreira says it is important people are not scared by the findings. “I don't want people to panic and think I've got back pain so now I am going to die faster,” he told.
“The best treatment for low back pain is a healthy lifestyle, including physical activity. People need to get moving.” added Paulo Ferreira.
In addition, the commonly prescribed medications for back pain such as paracetamol and anti-inflammatory drugs and even surgery was found ineffective in treating pain, but had side effects.
Yet another research at The George Institute for Global Health questions the effectiveness of medicines for treating back pain.Earlier research found that paracetamol is ineffective and opioids provide minimal benefit over a placebo. Yet most clinical guidelines recommend paracetamol as a first line treatment for lower back pain followed by NSAID'S and opioids.
Research fellow Gustavo Machado, of The George Institute and Sydney University's School of Medicine, said a stronger focus was needed on PREVENTING back pain.
“In a nutshell, the most effective way of preventing back pain is physical activity. But the right type of physical activity. We have some evidence that moderate to vigorous leisure exercise helps to prevent back pain- a good walking program, strength exercises under supervision and improving your sleep patterns” explains Nick Torrence, the owner of Balance in Motion.
Now, that I have brought all the facts and figures in front of you, I would like to put this decision in your hands.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO SUFFER THIS LIFE THREATENING AVOIDABLE PAIN OR PREVENT IT WITH A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE?