Your Relationship with Pain

Did you know that low back pain is currently considered to be the leading cause of disability worldwide? Despite our advancement in technology like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), healthcare costs, disability rates, and chronicity continue to rise. Low back pain is more complex than it seems and cannot be reduced to a single image showing us a specific structural “abnormality”. Pain does not always correlate well with tissue damage and tissue damage does not always correlate well with pain. Can structure contribute to pain? Yes, but it should be limited to contribution. The problem arises when we claim that structure is causing pain. Pain is multidimensional, meaning it is affected by our emotions, expectations, beliefs, and a host of other factors. Pain is a protective mechanism produced by a wide variety of systems that are integral to our bodies.

Why do we try to simplify low back pain then? This may be due to the complexity of low back pain in and of itself. It can be unsettling to the healthcare provider, let alone the patient. It is easier to look for a quick solution packaged in an easy to understand black and white diagnosis than it is to tread through the muddy waters of uncertainty and provide a meaningful, multifactorial approach. But, that does not mean that finding relief should be just as complicated. It should be a transparent and open conversation between client and practitioner about the utility of things like MRI, steroid injections, spinal manipulation, or even physical therapy. Emphasis should be placed on patient education and understanding of chronic conditions that hinder activities of daily living.

Chiropractic has been shown to be very effective in treating acute and chronic low back pain. An article in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggested chiropractic care as an option for people suffering from low back pain–and noted that surgery is usually not needed and should only be tried if other therapies fail. Additionally, the results of a clinical trial published in JAMA Network Open showed that chiropractic care combined with usual medical care for low back pain provides greater pain relief and a greater reduction in disability than medical care alone. The study, featured 750 active-duty members of the military and is one of the largest comparative effectiveness trials between usual medical care and chiropractic care ever conducted.

To get a complete and comprehensive examination to determine why you have low back pain, and receive the latest advances in chiropractic care, call Good2Go Chiropractic in Palm Harbor (727) 722-7700.

Sources: Pain neuroscience education (PNE)
Goodman D, Burke A, Livingston E. Low Back Pain. JAMA. 2013; 309(16):1738.

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