If you suffer from lower back pain, you’re not alone. It’s estimated around eight out of 10 Australians will experience lower back pain at some stage in their life, and for some it can be debilitating.
Many of them are turning to the internet for answers, and it’s no surprise. It’s a quick and easy way to find health information.
But can online information actually make a difference for people with lower back pain? The University of Queensland are trying to find out, with the support of the Medibank Better Health Foundation.
Research lead Professor Paul Hodges said the study aims to find out if accessing online information on lower back pain influences outcomes.
“Lower back pain has a huge impact on many Australians, affecting their work and family lives. If we can use online information to help people effectively manage their back pain, it could make a real difference for them,” he said.
“The internet has changed the way we communicate, shop and even the way we find our romantic partners. We need to figure out the best ways to use it for our health. But we need everyday Australians like you to help us find out!”
How you can help
Do you currently have back pain (recent or long term)? Are you 18 or older? Do you have regular access to the internet?
If so, then the University of Queensland needs your help to find out if online information has a significant impact on your back pain. In particular, researchers are looking for people who have had lower back pain for less than six weeks, and who were symptom-free for at least one month beforehand.
Trial participants will access the internet in different ways and complete online questionnaires over a 12-month period.
And those who complete the study will go into a draw to win one of 10 iPad minis!