An estimated 3.7 million Australians are suffering from chronic back problems, making it a major public health concern. Chronic back pain is a long-term, persistent condition and can cause physical and psychological distress.
As part of Spinal Health Week 2017 (22-28 May), the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia (CAA) is encouraging people to seek help for chronic back pain.
Taking the first steps to combat chronic back pain can be overwhelming. In the first instance, it can be helpful to seek advice from a healthcare practitioner and then focus on self-management in light of the advice received.
Chiropractors are trained “to diagnose, treat, co-manage, and manage the treatment of patients with low back pain disorders”  and work with other healthcare professionals where needed to address chronic back pain. There are many ways chiropractors can help with chronic back pain. Here are 2 ways a chiropractor can assist in managing symptoms of chronic back pain.
1. Chiropractic Treatment
For chronic back problems, chiropractors use a variety of non-surgical treatments such as spinal manipulative therapy (SMT). As with any treatment approach, your chiropractor will work with you to evaluate if this method can bring relief for your chronic back pain symptoms.
SMT has shown positive effects on back pain. A study has shown that in terms of short- and long-term patient-rated pain and disability, for (predominantly chronic) lower back pain, there is strong evidence that SMT is similar in effect to a combination of medical care with exercise instruction. 
Chiropractors are highly qualified healthcare professionals who are licensed to use SMT and other manual therapies to assist patients suffering from chronic back pain.
2. Lifestyle Advice
It can be hard to identify the cause of chronic back pain, especially in the absence of an injury or medical condition, however, a sedentary lifestyle and poor posture are risk factors for this condition.
Staying active is important for spinal mobility and health. People with chronic back pain may find it hard to exercise, however, they should try to be as active as possible. Incorporating walking into your daily routine is a good way to start. Download the Just Start Walking app from the App Store to track your progress.
Poor posture can also put strain on the spine. Slouching or hunching distorts the natural shape of the spine and places undue stress on it. Download the Straighten Up (Australia) app to receive posture reminders throughout the day and follow the Straighten Up exercise program to improve your spinal health and strengthen core muscles.
Chiropractors can advise on self-management of chronic back pain symptoms through exercise and lifestyle modification. Visit your local CAA chiropractor for more information on how they can help with chronic back pain and other spinal health issues.
For more information on chronic back pain, chiropractic and Spinal Health Week, visit www.spinalhealthweek.com.au
For more information on maintaining a healthy spine, please visit the website of the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia at www.chiropractors.asn.au
 Globe, Gary et al. “Clinical Practice Guideline: Chiropractic Care For Low Back Pain”. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (2016): Web.
 Bronfort, Gert et al. “Evidence-Informed Management Of Chronic Low Back Pain With Spinal Manipulation And Mobilization”. The Spine Journal 8.1 (2008): 213-225. Web.