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The Pain Problem: Spine, Muscle and Joint Pain

The Pain Problem: Spine, Muscle and Joint Pain

Canadians Are No Strangers to Pain

According to the Canadian Chiropractic Association (CCA) 2017 report, All Pain, No Gain: Shining a Light on Canada’s Back Pain and Opioid Crisis, almost 90 per cent of Canadians have experienced muscle and/or joint pain in the last year, the most common being back pain and headache.

Pain affects the way people work, play and generally live. And a person’s spine, muscles, joints and related nervous system supports every movement they make. Unfortunately, the World Health Organization reports lower back pain as a leading cause of disability worldwide. And a study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that back pain was the most common diagnosis for which emergency and family physicians prescribed opioids.

Informative table explaining muscle and joint pain statistics in Canada

Sleeping posture is the num­ber one cause of muscle and joint pain, according to those surveyed in CCA’s report. Shovelling snow, picking up a child or sitting at a desk for hours at a time can also severely impact your spine, muscles, joints and nervous system.

And with an aging population, the number of conditions is expected to increase significantly. By 2031, the number of Canadians suffering from these conditions will increase from 11 to 15 million.

Muscle and joint pain often stems from physical trauma, repetitive strain or overuse. It frequently impacts the head, neck, shoulders, back or pelvis. Most people will experience some form of muscle and joint pain in their lifetime. For example, you may strain muscles moving boxes or overdoing it at the gym. While not all of this discomfort is bad, it’s best to use proper techniques when you do strenuous or repetitive activities.  This extra care helps you prevent disorders and pain.

Research demonstrates that we can manage many conditions through patient education, exercise and manual therapies rather than through surgery or medication. And nine in ten Canadians who have used chiropractic care to help with their muscle and joint pain believe that it improved their quality of life.

Chiropractic Care

The word “chiropractic” comes from “chiro,” meaning “hand,” and the Greek word “praktikos,” meaning “practical.”  These roots reflect modern practitioners’ hands-on, non-invasive approach. Canada’s chiropractors play a key role in helping Canadians better manage their muscle and joint pain through non-invasive treatments that support the body’s spine, mus­cles, joints and nervous system.

With clinical tools and specialized training, chiropractors are uniquely positioned to offer treatment through active care and preventive strategies, like patient education and exercises.

Chiropractic care is available under many extended health benefit programs. Talk to your employer for details of your coverage.

To find a chiropractor near you, use the chiropractor locator on our website. In Ontario, you can visit a chiropractor without a referral from a doctor, nurse practitioner or other health care professional. If you already have a chiropractor and/or another health care professional, join our Partnership4BetterHealth online patient advisory community. Then, you can share your ideas on how to enhance chiropractic services and make a positive impact on our health care system. It’s confidential, free, and always your choice to participate.


This story is adapted from this article: The Pain Problem, which was produced by Globe Content Studio and published as an advertising feature in The Globe and Mail.

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