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Low back pain - My Perspective

This is a quick post about my current thoughts on low back pain episodes and is meant for the non-clinician. I have the right to change my mind at any time. 😉 It’s important to note that this discussion is not related to chronic, persisting low back pain.

Despite the benign nature of most back pain episodes, spine pain of any kind can be quite unsettling. A large part of this has to do with societal influence, childhood upbringing, and inaccurate information from providers.

We, as a society, are over-medicalizing low back pain. The majority of us will experience low back pain at some point in our life and 90 plus percent of cases are not medically serious; despite being seriously painful.

This is why I think it’s very important to find a provider that you not only can trust to provide you with accurate and updated information, but who will also take the time to listen and be empathetic to your current situation.

We know that most bouts of low back pain will improve significantly within 2-6 weeks. Some individuals get tremendous relief from Chiropractic Adjustments, others not so much. Some people do well with “specific” exercise recommendations, others do quite well with general advice to remain active. Or in other words, “keep calm and carry on.”

It is my personal belief that many providers are over treating low back pain and some of us are actually under treating. In the past, I have been guilty of doing both, which has come from a lack of fully understanding the patient in front of me. The patient tells us what they need. It is our job as providers to pick up on that and guide you appropriately.

Some of you may do better with consistent check-ins over a period of time, especially if this is your first time experiencing this type of pain. This can give you confidence and reassurance to know that you’re on the right track or you may really enjoy the hands on manual therapy, Chiropractic Adjustments, etc. In my eyes, there is nothing wrong with consistent Chiropractic Adjustments as long as the narrative behind them has your best interest in mind.

Others may prefer a one off appointment or the option to schedule a follow up if something doesn’t seem quite right during the recovery process. Now that you’ve had an exam and know that nothing serious is taking place, you feel at ease getting on with your everyday life and letting time do its thing.

In the words of the late great Louis Gifford, “Effective reassurance is a bloody good pain killer.”

Until next time…

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