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Do you have Back Pain ?

Neck Pain ?

Both ?

We want to hear from you!


Welcome to the website of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Back and Neck Pain.

Do you have back or neck pain ?

or both ?

We want to hear from you!

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As we are trying to better understand the impact of back and neck pain in Australia.


Participant Information Sheet

Click here to read all important information about the Australian Longitudinal Study on Back and Neck Pain.

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Participant Consent Form

Click here to view the consent form, which outlines how your data will be used.

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Facts and Myths

Myth: “If my neck pain gets any worse I might end up paralysed.”

Fact: Back, and neck pain, in most cases, are not an indication of a serious underlying condition. Most back and neck pain resolve on their own or with simple treatments such as exercise and self-care.

Myth: “My back and/or neck pain is caused by poor posture.

Fact: While poor posture can contribute to back and neck pain, it is not the sole cause. Other factors such as injury, stress, and degenerative conditions can also lead to back and neck pain.

Myth: “My back and neck pain can be solved by a quick fix – there might be a new device, tool, gadget, or pill out there that can help.”

Fact: There is no quick fix for back and neck pain. Effective treatment often involves a combination of approaches such as exercise, self-care, and medication.

Myth: “A higher degree of back or neck pain means that there is more damage to the structures of my back or neck.”

Fact: The degree of pain does not always indicate the severity of the underlying condition. In approximately 90% of back and neck pain cases, there is no damage to the spine.

Myth: “An MRI or CT scan will show exactly what is wrong with my back or neck.”

Fact:While imaging tests such as MRI or CT scan can help diagnose certain conditions, they may not always show the exact cause of back or neck pain.

Myth: “Moving my back and neck, especially with exercise, will make my neck worse.”

Fact: Exercise and movement are often effective in reducing back and neck pain and improving function. Proper exercise can help strengthen the back and neck muscles and increase flexibility, reducing the risk of future pain.

Myth: “My back/neck pain is getting worse, I expect I will need injections or surgery.”

Fact: Injections and surgery are not always necessary for back/neck pain. Most cases can be managed with non-surgical treatments such as movement, exercise, medication, and self-care.

Myth: “It would be wise to take bed rest and not go to work until my back or neck pain is over.”

Fact: Prolonged bed rest can actually worsen back and neck pain and delay recovery. Staying active and continuing with daily activities, with modifications if needed, is often more effective.

Myth: “Opioid medications will improve my chronic back/neck pain.”

Fact: Opioids are not recommended for chronic back and neck pain as they can have serious side effects and do not always provide long-term relief. Non-opioid medications such as paracetamol and/or NSAIDs are often more effective.

Myth: : “Bending and lifting is dangerous for the back and neck. I need to keep my spine straight at all times.”

Fact: Proper bending and lifting techniques are important for protecting the back and neck, but complete avoidance of these movements can lead to deconditioning and weakness, making the back and neck more vulnerable to injury.

Tips For Pain

Physical activity, or exercises, often really help!

Physical activity and/or exercises are an important component of managing back and neck pain, and incorporating certain exercises into your routine can help alleviate discomfort and prevent future flare-ups.

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Stress management and relaxation are important!

Stress and tension can contribute to back and neck pain, so learning stress management and relaxation techniques can be an effective way to relieve and prevent pain. Deep breathing, Progressive muscle relaxation, Meditation, Yoga and Mindfulness are some techniques for back and neck pain relief.

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Heat and cold therapy can provide pain relief!

Heat and cold therapy can both be effective in relieving back and neck pain, depending on the cause of the pain. Heat therapy can help relax muscles and increase blood flow to the affected area, while cold therapy can reduce inflammation and numb pain.

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Nutrition and diet are important!

While nutrition and diet may not directly relieve back or neck pain, they can play an important role in maintaining overall health and reducing inflammation in the body, which can in turn reduce pain.

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Medication should be used carefully!

In general, medication is rarely required for managing back or neck pain. Over-the-counter pain relievers such as paracetamol or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be used to relieve pain during a flare-up. It's important to note that opioids should only be used only under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

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