By Shey Li Liew
New research by the company Roy Morgan reveals that Australians complain mostly about back pain other than the common cold.
But it’s now becoming more common for younger people to be diagnosed with spinal diseases due to constant incorrect body postures while using smartphones and computers.
According to PainAustralia’s Annual Review report, one in five Australians, including children and teenagers, suffer chronic pain. It also found that 30 to 40 per cent of those chronic pain sufferers have major depression.
Senior Supervising Clinician and Chiropractor at Murdoch’s Chiropractic Clinic Dr Lyndon Amorin-Woods said the rise of chronic pain among young people is mainly driven by bad posture while using electronic devices.
“For the recent years, the upper back and neck pain has sort of taken over (among youth),” said Dr Amorin-Woods.
He noticed that people tend to lean forward while using their mobile phones.
“We are not designed as humans to be working…like this,” he said.
“We’re meant to be looking upright like an “S” shape, rather than a “C” shape.”
Dr Amorin-Woods believed that one of the prime reasons young people don’t take back pain as seriously is because they can’t see it.
Jean-Luc Maitre, 25, is a survivor of a giant cell bone tumour and has suffered chronic back pain for over a year.
He didn’t think it was serious when he first experienced the pain.
“At the time I was working at a mine site, doing a lot of physical work and I started getting a lot of back pain, I just assumed it was a kind of muscular pain,” said Maitre.
“I just tried to ignore it and assume it was going to go away itself,” he said.
“Even though it might seem as it’s something insignificant to an adolescent, a teenager or a young university student, our advice is certainly to not ignore it,” said Dr Amorin-Woods.