“People have back pain!” says chiropractors: experts in hurting backs

Decade of back pain for millions: Seven in ten Britons admit living with twinges for more than 10 years

Seven in ten Britons have lived with neck pains or back twinges for more than a decade, a survey has found.

Back pain forced just under three in ten to take time off work with the number of sick days jumping 29 per cent last year to 9.9million days, the figures show.

Source: Daily Mail, 29th September 2015


People are just coping with back pain and failing to get it treated? That sounds like a terrible idea. If only there were a group out there who use back pain as a gateway to claiming to treat all manner of unrelated symptoms such as colic and deafness, perhaps a group willing to pay for PR like this to appear in the news…

Yet two fifths have never done anything to protect their back actively, according to the British Chiropractic Association.

It goes without saying that one of the best ways to actively protect your back is to not allow a chiropractor anywhere near it, given that the disproven pseudoscience has been shown repeatedly to offer no reliable benefit and yet cause all manner of side effects.

Chiropractor Rishi Loatey said: ‘As modern lifestyles put increasing amounts of strain on our backs and necks it’s becoming even more important for people to take proactive measures to protect their back health.

‘Yet, we are seeing more and more people who have been struggling with back pain for longer periods of time.

It’s untrue that people should proactively seek pseudomedical treatment to avoid developing back pain, and it’s even less true that chiropractors are a body people should turn to for health advice. It’s very likely true, at least, that chiropractors see people struggling for long periods of time, although that might be due to their insistence that most ailments take a lengthy course of treatment to fix…

‘Prevention is always better than cure and it’s encouraging to see that some people told us they are taking steps to maintain a healthy posture, including limiting the amount of time they spend on laptops.

‘However, there are a number of other simple processes that people can incorporate into their daily routine to reduce the effect that back and neck pain can have on their everyday lives.

‘For example, people are often surprised at the positive impact that simply ensuring you take regular breaks when sitting for long periods of time, or walking regularly can have on your back.’

Here, I can agree with the chiropractor – taking regular breaks from your laptop or desk can help avoid developing bad posture or increasing your chances of getting aches and pains. However, that’s as far as the chiropractic advice goes – when, in fact, this story is in the newspapers to reputationally link common sense advice on back pain with the chiropractic industry, in order to stimulate interest in the public. Fortunately, most newspapers by now are well aware that there is not a jot of evidence in favour of chiropractic – just as there is often not a jot of truth behind the figures and statistics trotted out in headline-grabbing PR stories.