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Back problems are a range of conditions related to the bones, joints, connective tissue, muscles and nerves of the back. Back problems are a significant cause of disability and lost productivity.
1 in 6 Australians (16%) reported back problems in 2014–15. That’s 3.7 million people
3rd leading cause of disease burden in Australia in 2011
4 in 5 people with disability and back problems had difficulty with mobility, communication or self-care in 2012
General practitioners (GPs) are usually the first point of contact with the health care system for people with back problems.
Management of back problems in general practice includes:
Back problems are among the most commonly managed conditions in general practice . In 2015–16, 3.1 of every 100 GP-patient encounters were for the management of back problems—about 3.7 million GP encounters. This has increased significantly from 2.6 of every 100 GP-patient encounters in 2006–07.
There is currently no nationally consistent primary health care data collection monitoring provision of care by GPs. Note that statistics on general practice activities based on Bettering the Evaluation and Care of Health (BEACH) data are derived from a sample survey of GPs and their encounters with patients, and need to be interpreted with some caution.
Source:  (Data table).
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