Almost One-Third of Canadians Say Back Pain Limiting Their Work & Daily Lives


man leaning over couch with hand on back in pain

According to the Canadian Chiropractic Association (CCA), more than 11 million Canadians suffer from an injury or disorder that affects their movement, with one in eight reporting a chronic back problem and almost one-third indicating activity limitations due to back pain.

These numbers are higher than they need to be, according to chiropractors across the country who treat approximately 4.5 million Canadians each year. They also shed light on the broad societal and economic impact of those affected, including that forty percent of all work absences, are due to back pain, second only to the common cold.


The CCA is raising awareness of the treatment options available to Canadians, and the importance of physical activity, with a campaign called "Get Spine Active" (#GetSpineActive). World Spine Day (October 16th) has become a focus in raising awareness of back pain and other spinal issues. With health professionals, exercise and rehabilitation experts, public health advocates, schoolchildren, and patients all taking part, World Spine Day will be celebrated on every continent.


"Canadians who want to improve their physical health and well-being can do so by staying active," said Alison Dantas, Chief Executive Officer at Canadian Chiropractic Association. "Now more than ever, we want to encourage Canadians to consider chiropractors as an integral member of their healthcare team to achieve better outcomes and improve their quality of life."


Chiropractors help Canadians reduce pain, restore function and improve quality of life The spine is a critical part of the body, holding up the head, arms, and torso. With over 60 joints in the spine, it's important that they function properly so the spine can keep the body upright while protecting spinal cord and nerves.


Chiropractors are spine, muscle, and nervous system experts who reduce pain and restore function, helping Canadians better manage their musculoskeletal pain. They are musculoskeletal (MSK) experts, providing the assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and preventative care originating from the muscular, skeletal, and nervous systems. Chiropractic is also a drug-free, non-invasive treatment.


According to the 2017 report All Pain, No Gain: Shining a Light on Canada's Back Pain and Opioid Crisis, 90 percent of Canadians who have used a chiropractor to help with their muscle and joint pain believe that it improved their overall quality of life, more than any other method. And despite the high levels of satisfaction among those choosing a chiropractor for care, people in under-serviced parts of Canada often have no access to care for spinal pain and disability.


Injuries and physical disorders can become chronic and painful if left untreated The number of Canadians affected by injuries, back pain, and physical disorders are so significant that the CCA hopes to spark a robust dialogue among Canadians on World Spine Day around the seriousness of the issue, its impact, and simple ways to prevent and treat it. The most common injuries or disorders treated by chiropractors are sprains, strains, low back pain, and neck pain. While conditions can be either mild or severe, they can become chronic if left undiagnosed and untreated.


"Too many Canadians leave their injuries and physical disorders untreated until they are in significant pain which limits mobility and their quality of life," said Dr. Sasha Hamid, an associate chiropractor with the CURAVITA Health Group in Ottawa. "In this case, movement truly is medicine and even simple exercises can help Canadians maintain flexibility and avoid chronic pain. It's time for more Canadians to take control of their physical health and well-being by looking after their spines and staying active."


Easy ways to #GetSpineActive The CCA and Canada's chiropractors have several recommendations to help Canadians #GetSpineActive:

  • Start Moving: Being physically active helps prevent and manage injuries or disorders related to sprains, strains, low back pain, and neck pain. It can also help maintain strength and mobility. Physical activity is also crucial to maintaining overall health, mobility, and quality of life and will help ensure Canadians can continue to do the many activities they love.

  • Get Into a Daily Routine: Doing daily exercise and movement to keep your spine functioning properly may help to prevent joints from getting creaky and painful.

  • Consult a Chiropractor: Chiropractors help to keep Canadians moving. Despite a common misconception, those suffering don't need a referral to visit one.

Source: Canadian Chiropractic Association