Chiropractic Association of South Africa (CASA)

The Burden of Back Pain

Pain & Inflammation

The Burden of Back Pain

If you’ve been battling low back pain, you’re not alone.

According to a recent study done by the Global Burden of Disease there are about 1.7 billion people around the world suffering from musculoskeletal (MSK) disorders, +-568 million of whom are struggling with low back pain.

And yet, despite it being such a common ailment, the cause of low back pain is often unclear, so let’s take a look at some of the causes, prevention and treatment of low back pain…

Causes of low back pain

Part of the challenge in identifying the cause of low back pain is that it is a very broad term used to describe pain in the lower portion of the spine. In most cases, however, low back pain is rarely sinister and is predominantly due to mechanical problems related to the structure of the back i.e. vertebrae, spinal discs, nerves, muscles, ligaments etc.

These mechanical issues may arise as a result of conditions like scoliosis, injury (such as sprains and strains), the slow degeneration of the spine with age, or simply years of “wear and tear” and osteoarthritis.

Chiropractic treatment for back pain

How is low back pain diagnosed?

As you can imagine, with so many different causes of low back pain, symptoms can vary greatly and may include:

Work ergonomics to prevent back pain

Your doctor, chiropractor or physical therapist practitioner will take a comprehensive case history and run through a variety of orthopedic and neurological tests in their rooms. This, together, with their knowledge and insight, may immediately alert them to the reason you are experiencing low back pain.

In the event that further testing is necessary, however, your practitioner may refer you for blood tests, X-rays, ultrasound scans or even an MRI to help them hone in on a specific diagnosis and confirm their suspicions.

I have low back pain, how do I fix it?

While some low back pain cases may resolve themselves, not everyone is so lucky. As a result, many people seek out care for their low back pain on a daily basis. The good news is that many of these interventions are conservative in nature and generally fix the problem in no time.

These include:

  • Massage therapy
  • Ice or heat therapy at home
  • Over the counter and prescription medications
  • Gentle stretching and strengthening exercises


When it comes to chiropractic care, relieving pain and restoring movement to improve your quality of life is the primary goal, especially when pain is preventing you from managing your daily tasks.

Remember, no two cases of low back pain are the same and as such cannot be treated the same.

How do I stop low back pain?

As the saying goes, prevention is better than treatment!

To prevent your back from konking out on you:

  • Get your work ergonomics corrected
  • Practise safe lifting techniques
  • Exercise regularly under the guidance of a professional
  • sure you get enough movement in during the day by walking in your breaks
  • Visit your chiropractor
To find out more about the potential cause of your low back pain and how to treat it, please contact a CASA-registered chiropractor to chat


This blog post is not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Tags :
back pain, osteoarthritis, scoliosis
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