Today starts Back Care Awareness Week, an initiative that places the spotlight on how to keep your back strong and supple, and more importantly, pain-free.
Each year, the campaign focuses on a specific sector; 2016’s was “Caring for Carers”. The potential audience for this was around 7 million, as, unbelievably, this is the number of unpaid carers who provide invaluable support to their family members. Much of the work involved is physical, such as helping a person in and out of chairs, beds and baths.
It comes as no surprise then, that national figures reveal that nearly three quarters of medium-to-long-term carers suffer from some form of back pain, but their role also
places them at a much greater risk of developing chronic back pain at some point.
The irony here, of course, is that it is they themselves who may need a carer! Unless this cycle can be broken, there will be an ever-increasing burden on families, and the NHS, to provide the necessary support.
This is why I think that 2017’s theme, “Back Pain In Education”, is such a good one. How better to break the cycle than by targeting young people? Not only does this awareness come in at ground level, so to speak, they can also pass on information to their relatives who may be caring for a relative already. In addition, there are many teenage children who already care for an older family member.
Leading this awareness is BackCare, the UK’s leading charity for those who suffer from back and neck pain. Its Chairman, Dr Brian Hammond, says;
“Early teaching of children and young people, of the importance of taking care of their backs, is bound to have a positive effect on the health of their backs as adults.
There are simple things children and young people can do, such as sitting properly and not for too long, exercising regularly, stretching and lifting correctly. They also need to know how to carry their school books and equipment in a way that does not harm their back or neck.”
As well as heeding this advice, we can also make sure our children are sent to school with no more than they actually need for the school day, contained within their school bags. Unnecessary excess weight could only cause health problems in the long run.
To promote this campaign, word is going out via national radio, as well as printed material sent directly to schools.
As a Birmingham-based chiropractor, we’re already doing our best to help relieve severe back pain! Please help us spread the word by sharing this article on your social media page - you could help to spare many people from a life of pain and limited mobility.
Are you looking for back pain relief? For more information on our services, please click here; alternatively, speak to one of our therapists to organise a consultation.