Whether you're an athlete, a blue or white collar worker, or even a retiree back pain is one of the most common complaints. Research shows 4 out of 5 people will suffer significant back pain at some point in life.
Some people have a disc rapture or a prolapsed disc, other suffer from spurring or degeneration of disc in spine, occasionally there are more sinister causes such as fracture or cancer or osteo fractures
It becomes chronic when the pain persists for more than 3 months.
For many relief only comes with medication or physical manipulation, for others surgery is the only option.
"I wrecked my back 35 years ago, on the worst days I couldn't get out of bed." Said Roger Teeter
Years of competitive water skiing left Roger Teeter battling chronic back pain. Unable to find a solution the former aeronautical engineer set about creating his own cure.
This is a mechanical fix to a mechanical problem. The rotating bed known as a Teeter Hang Up uses gravity to take the weight off your spine.
If you've got a pinched nerve or an inflamed joint by taking the weight off the nerve or joint you get immediate relief. I'm over 73 and this gives the flexibility of a much younger person and helps me keep up with the grandkids.
School teacher Peter Woolfe was virtually crippled by major back spasms 6 years ago.
"I had this searing pain right down my back and it was absolutely shocking. I felt nauseated and turned white as a ghost and I started to sweat and it was a basically a major collapse of my muscles on the left hand side." Said Peter
He sought treatment from a physiotherapist and chiropractor for about 5 years before trying this inversion table after reading about it online.
"All I need to do know if I move my arms backwards. I just love it. I stay like this for ten minutes and just relax and let the world go by while my spine decompressions." Said Peter
Results from a Newcastle University study in the UK found patients suffering sciatica were 70% less likely to require surgery after using the Teeter Hang Up.
Can you show us how you get back up from this position?
"Yes its very simple I just pull that back myself then bring my arms forward the balance bring it back to where it was." Said Peter
How do you feel?
Light as a feather?
"Light as a feather and the blood flow reorientates very quickly.
I'm sure it's helped me sleep better and think more clearly, that's got to be a bonus." Said Peter
People come with sporting injuries, people come with overload injuries, people come with lifting injuries.
Stephen Esposito, a chiropractor with 20 years' experience in the field, says techniques have come a long way.
Most commonly chiropractors use spinal adjustment, manipulation, taking joints to end range and trying to make them more. It's very gentle and controlled and we aim to increase joint function. In the past there was a stigma attached to manipulation of the spine but techniques have continued to improve.
Stephen works hands on in his own clinic and lectures at Macquarie University
"Often we can give relief quite quickly, however the problem is dependent on how complicated the problem is and what the underlying cause is." Said Stephen
Lower back pain comes at a massive cost, on top of what Australians spend on treatments, lotions, surgery, loss of wages and lost productivity comes in at an estimated cost 9 billion dollars a year.
90 percent of spinal disc injuries will heal themselves after a few weeks, especially with physical therapy or hydro-therapy.
For short term pain management, anti-inflammatories like voltaren tablets and deep heat creams can provide some relief. Standard pain medication like nurofen and panadol also help.
But waiting it out can be torture, and not everybody gets better, that's when you need to see a doctor.
How have spinal procedures improved over time?
Well previously we used to do a big incision like this to expose the spine quite widely to do this incision now we're tending to do keyhole operations with smaller incisions and better instrumentation.
What does this mean for the recovery of a patient? It means less blood loss, less muscle damage and faster healing and the patients can get out of bed a lot quicker.
Neuro-surgeon Paul D'Urso is from the Epworth Hospital in Melbourne.
What type of patient might need a spinal procedure?
"If a patient has a badly damaged disc in their spine we might need to take it out and perform a fusion operation and we might need to place bone graft in the space between the bones where disc was and place some titanium screws to hold it together." Said Dr D'Urso
"Medical advice should be sought before undergoing any back treatment.
Once upon a time we would rarely consider spinal surgery for people over the age of 70 now it's being performed on people in their 80s.The risk of serious complications is pretty low to small, as is the risk of infection or damage to a nerve, most people benefit substantially." Said Dr D'Urso
To purchase Teeter Hang Up inverter go to: www.ibuys.com.au/teeter-hang-inversion-table-ep950-p-696.html?utm_campaign=google-simple&utm_medium=product_search&utm_source=google-simple
Or call: 1300 442 897 7 days (Cost is $695)
Suggests it's stocked in Super A-Mart Sport and Rebel sports stores but couldn't find.