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World Spine Day

October 16th 2014 has been marked as World Spine Day. So what does this mean?

The purpose of world spine day is really to make people stop and think about what stress, strain, and pressures that they put their bodies through on a daily basis.

Below are some facts taken from Please take the time and realize what an amazingly designed body we have and how our own spinal health can lead to great overall health.

  • Raise awareness about spinal health and spine disorders within the interdisciplinary health care community and amongst public policy decision-makers and the general public;

  • To provide an opportunity for and encourage ongoing discussion about the burden of spinal disorders; and

  • To promote an interdisciplinary, collaborative approach to easing the burden of spinal disorders.


The theme “Straighten Up and Move” emphasizes the importance of healthy spinal posture and activity which promotes body awareness and minimizes the day-to-day wear and tear on a person’s spine. The theme of posture and movement supports the BJD’s Vision of “Keep People Moving”. The intent of WSD is to bring people from all walks of life – patients, health providers, health care organizations, associations and governments to help ease this global burden. In order to gain momentum and effectively do this, we need to work collaboratively together in the prevention and management of these types of disorders.

  • Musculoskeletal conditions include joint diseases such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis; back and neck pain; osteoporosis and fragility fractures; soft tissue rheumatism; injuries due to sports and in the workplace; and trauma commonly related to road traffic accidents

  • Disability due to musculoskeletal conditions can be effectively prevented by currently available interventions, such as accident prevention, modern treatment of arthritis and injuries, and by rehabilitation.

  • They have the fourth greatest impact on the health of the world population, considering both death and disability (DALYs) (Lancet 15 December 2012)

  • Musculoskeletal disorders account 6.8% DALYs

  • Low back pain accounts for nearly one half, neck pain one fifth, and osteoarthritis about 10%.

  • They are the second greatest cause of disability, as measured by years lived with disability (YLDs) worldwide and across most regions of the world (Lancet 15 December 2012)

  • As a group musculoskeletal disorders cause 21·3% of all years lived with disability (YLDs) (this is second only to mental and behavioural disorders which account for 22.7% of YLDs)

  • The main contributors are low back pain (83.1 million YLDs), neck pain (33.6 million YLDs), osteoarthritis (17.1 million YLDs) and the other musculoskeletal category. Osteoarthritis of the knee accounts for 83% of the osteoarthritis total.

  • The leading cause of disability worldwide are low back pain contributing 10.7% of total YLDs (major depression contributes 8.1%).

  • They affect millions of people of all ages in all cultures and in all countries

  • Current estimates of people affected worldwide (Lancet 15 December 2012)

  • Back pain 632.045 million

  • Neck pain 332.049 million

  • OA knee 250.785 million

  • Other musculoskeletal conditions 560.978 million

  • They cause pain, physical disability and loss of personal and economic independence

  • The growing burden can be controlled if priority and resources are given to ensure access to these interventions.

Written By:

Dr. Michael J Korczynski (Chiropractor)

Kingston Chiropractic and Rehabilitation




3. Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 (The Lancet, Dec 13 2012).

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