There are a vast range of organizations that exist around the world to promote and raise awareness of the importance of good back and spinal health, and many that offer support to those that are living with back pain or spinal conditions.
We’ve highlighted 10 organizations who are really making a difference around the world, whether that be through charity work, research or information sharing to help people manage their condition.
The Global Alliance for Musculoskeletal Health
The Global Alliance for Musculoskeletal Health, otherwise known as G-Musc, is dedicated to improving the quality of life of people with musculoskeletal disorders around the world.
Based in the UK, it is the organization behind World Spine Day, which was launched in 2012 and now occurs annually.
It works with a whole range of different organizations and professionals to encourage World Spine Day events that raise awareness of good back care, most recently encouraging people to share their back care tips using the hashtag #MyBackStory:
The Global Alliance for Musculoskeletal Health also funds a number of different pieces of research to better understand musculoskeletal disorders, enabling patients to make informed decisions about their care, as well as advancing prevention and treatment.
Find out more about The Global Alliance for Musculoskeletal Health
NIH Pain Consortium
NIH Pain Consortium is a US based organization who focus on pain research. It is keen to promote collaboration between researchers to further advance the understanding around pain, and develop a pain research agenda for the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Working closely with industry professionals as well as patients to communicate research findings it helps better decisions to be made by both doctors and patients.
Chronic Low Back Pain is a key focus for the NIH Pain Consortium and in 2012 it assembled a task force of experts from various disciplines who put together a set of standards to help ensure the consistency of future back pain research.
Since 2014 the task force has begun to release publications on its work, which NIH Pain Consortium hope will advance Chronic Low Back Pain research.
Find out more about NIH Pain Consortium
Chiropractors’ Association of Australia
The Chiropractors’ Association of Australia (CAA) is a key influence across Australia, representing chiropractors, but also launching and funding a number of initiatives to raise awareness of spinal health.
It prides itself on a commitment to evidence based practice, ensuring its chiropractors have access to the best available research, to help patients make the right choice for their health.
CAA is also the organizer of Spinal Health Week, which in 2016 used the passion roused by the Olympics, to launch their ‘Back Your Inner Athlete‘ campaign.
It recognizes that according to the World Health Organization, 30% of adults are inactive, leading to poor spinal health and back pain problems, so its goal is to get people moving!
Find out more about the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia
World Spine Care
World Spine Care (WSC) is a global charity founded in 2008 by a leading figure in the assessment and treatment of spinal conditions, Scott Haldeman. He identified a profound gap in the evidence-based treatment of musculoskeletal and spinal conditions in under serviced areas around the world.
Now WSC aims to improve lives in these underserved communities through sustainable, integrated, evidence based, spine care, to ensure no matter where you live in the world you have access to the highest quality spine care possible.
With a focus on active self-care and pain management, in 2016 World Spine Care launched a yoga project! It began by creating a teacher training program for local people, who then led free sessions for WSC patients. The classes have been well attended, and are now delivered around the world in underserved communities.
Find out more about World Spine Care
The Pain Relief Foundation
The Pain Relief Foundation is a charity focussed on raising awareness of the need for specialised research in to the causes and treatment of chronic pain. It believes through better research methods the treatment options available for chronic pain will be vastly improved.
Funded through charitable donations only, The Pain Relief Foundation works closely with the NHS and Universities to provide post-graduate scientific education in chronic pain relief.
The Pain Relief Foundation publishes a number of fact sheets and publications that are used by universities around the country, focussing on back pain, included causes and unbiased treatment options that patients and professionals can consider.
Find out more about The Pain Relief Foundation
United Spinal Association
United Spinal Association was initially formed by a group of paralysed WWII veterans in New York City in 1946. They wanted to form a support group to discuss the poor treatment they had received after returning from the war and prevent it happening to others.
Today, the United Spinal Association is the largest non-profit organization dedicated to people living with a spinal cord injury or a spinal cord disease; focussing not just on those suffering, but also supporting loved ones, care providers and professionals to help them better understand the conditions, to ensure sufferers can enjoy independence and are not limited by their condition.
Each September is National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month, designed to raise awareness of the strength and determination of those who live with conditions every day, but also to continue to encourage funding for research.
Find out more about United Spinal Association
Following a back injury caused by a sailing accident, UK businessman Stanley Grundy formed the charity BackCare. He felt through his own experience that there was a lack of information and support for back pain sufferers.
BackCare is focussed on information and advice sharing, to all at risk individuals and organizations who will employ people who could be affected by back pain.
Focussed on funding research to raise awareness and further advance the understanding of causes, prevention and management of back pain.
It recently launched their Caring for Carers campaign as part of Backcare Awareness Week. Unpaid carers across the UK are an at risk group, with BackCare reporting over 70% suffering from back pain. The week focusses on self-care and prevention as well as support for treatment.
Find out more about BackCare
The United States Bone and Joint Initiative
Focussing on bone and joint disorders, The United States Bone and Joint Initiative looks to improve the quality of life for those suffering from musculoskeletal conditions.
Working as part of the Global Alliance for Musculoskeletal Health, the United States Bone and Joint Initiative brings together patients and healthcare organizations, medical schools, government agencies and industry professionals.
It reports that movement, for nearly one in two Americans over the age of 18, and also many children, is limited due to a musculoskeletal disorder, such as back pain. Its goal is to raise awareness of this and work with those involved to develop research projects and deliver back solid findings.
Find out more about The United States Bone and Joint Initiative
American Chronic Pain Association
American Chronic Pain Association focus on delivering practical and insightful pain management skills and advice to patients, families and healthcare professionals.
The association started out in 1980 as a small church support group, organised by Penney Cowan, who had lived with chronic pain for many years. She wanted to create a place where people could share information about dealing with the pain, and as the groups increased and eventually spread across the US she focussed on developing manuals and materials to help people cope.
Today its site and supporting apps, are full of informed content delivering practical advice and much-needed support to those suffering from chronic pain. Plus it continues to run support groups across the US and Canada, as well as in the UK and other countries.
Find out more about American Chronic Pain Association
Don’t Turn Your Back On It
Launched as a European initiative, Don’t Turn Your Back On It aims to raise awareness of inflammatory back pain and reduce the time it takes for the correct diagnosis of the conditions that cause it.
It believes the public should be proactive about back pain and not simply accept it as a way of life, ensuring they visit a healthcare professional for the correct diagnosis.
Don’t Turn Your Back On It encourages sufferers to use their online symptom checker to help them understand whether their back pain is being caused by inflammation. It then uses the information to deliver insightful advice about seeking help and also coping with the pain.
Find out more about Don’t Turn Your Back On It