Observed on October 16 every year, the aim of World Spine Day (WSD) is to raise awareness about spinal health within the interdisciplinary health care community, amongst public policy decision makers, and the general public. WSD is observed as a part of the Bone and Joint Decade (BJD) which was initiated in January 2000. The 2015 WSD campaign focuses on the importance of good spinal health and prevention of injuries in the workplace – with the theme “Your Back at Work”. It is the continuation of the “Straighten Up and Move Theme” introduced in 2012.
Spinal conditions such as back pain, neck pain, scoliosis and degenerative disc disease negatively impact a person’s overall health, lifestyle and independence. Back pain is the largest single global cause of disability affecting all people at least once in their lives. Experts say that backache is associated with the way the bones, muscles and ligaments in the back work together. Heavy lifting, repetitive movement, poor posture and inactivity are the main factors contributing to the development of spinal disorders.
Until 2012, World Spine Day was not as centrally coordinated and for this reason has received less attention. October 2012 marked the first official inauguration of WSD in collaboration with organizations around the world to raise awareness for the prevention and effective management of various spinal conditions.
In addition to raising awareness about back pain and spinal health, WSD is intended to provide an opportunity for and encourage ongoing discussion about the burden of spinal disorders and to promote an interdisciplinary, collaborative approach to easing the burden of these disorders. In fact, multispecialty healthcare centers continue to prove the effectiveness of such an interdisciplinary approach by combining pharmacologic, non-pharmacologic, and psychological strategies for managing back pain and spinal disorders.
The WSD website offers a toolkit and other resources for BJD National Action Networks, health care providers, professional associations, patient advocacy groups, governments, educational institutions, and others to get involved in the campaign. As part of the event, people are encouraged to take a photo demonstrating a health spine habit in the workplace and share it via social media using hash tags like #worldspineday, #spineselfie, and #yourbackatwork.