FROM THE EDITOR
One in six – that’s how many Aussies experience back pain each year. Not only that but it’s the leading cause of time off work across the nation, with 25 per cent of sufferers aged 18-44 taking at least 10 sick days a year. And even if you’re lucky enough to be free of a sore back right now, chances are you’ll experience this debilitating issue one day, with studies showing that as many as 90 per cent of Aussies will have back pain at some point in their life. And because it’s caused by all manner of different conditions – from exercise-induced muscle strain or sitting at a desk for too long, to osteoarthritis and more serious genetic diseases – the symptoms can vary from a dull ache, to excruciating keep-you-awake-at-night stabbing pains, and everything in between. As a result, there really is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating and living with back pain. Nevertheless, many of us continue to search for a universal solution and unwittingly put ourselves at risk of further damage. Our special feature on page 4 explores the pain management mistakes we all commonly make. Using heat, resting too much, demanding an MRI – they can all cause more harm than good. Check it out to see if there’s a better way to manage your symptoms. Then head to page 6 to try Michelle Bridges’ simple but effective circuit to help you build a stronger back. Here’s wishing you a pain-free week.