Back pain is the NUMBER ONE growing musculoskeletal health issue that our nation is facing, but the vast majority of traditional back pain treatments are a waste of time and money.
I have been working with chronic back pain patients for the majority of my professional career as a spinal rehabilitation practitioner. In that time, I’ve employed a whole range of practitioners within my health clinics, including:
- Sports Medicine Practitioners
- Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners
- Remedial Massage Therapists
I have studied and researched back pain for many years. I also run an education company teaching advanced back pain assessments and rehabilitation to the above professions.
I’ve also personally experienced the pain and misery that back pain brings to sufferers, not to mention the frustration and confusion that develops from bouncing from one medical practitioner to the next. All of them having little or no impact on my own back pain before I learned the truth.
If you’ve been living with long-term back pain (more than a few weeks of constant pain), you may have tried a trip to your GP, a visit to the local Osteopath or Chiropractor or maybe a few sessions with a physio.
You might have even been all the way through our NHS system: from scans to consultant to physio to pain management, but are still no better off.
Back pain is rarely just about the part of the back that hurts
Yet, most traditional practitioners focus on the area where the pain is located. I’ve had patients come to me at their wit’s end after spending small fortunes on private consultants and treatments, only to be told to learn to live with the pain (and to take a cocktail of prescribed drugs too).
Back Pain Assessments
So WHY, after all the advancements in science and technology, is the medical industry getting worse at back pain rehabilitation, NOT better?
The number one reason is a lack of time and conviction by a practitioner to FULLY understand an individual’s particular back issue.
Have you or someone you know ever seen a practitioner about back pain?
How long did the appointment last?
The answer is anything between 6 minutes and 40 minutes (on average). If you’re really lucky then you may get a full 60 minutes, but this is rare.
This is one of the biggest problems: lack of time.
A 20-minute appointment for a condition that has been eating away at your physical and mental health for years is a bold and arrogant move by practitioners.
It may result in some light relief and it may also ‘cure’ the pain for a while, but 9 times out of 10 it will reappear with a vengeance (just when you least expect it).
If you’ve not yet experienced the confused medical world of back pain, you may think this is limited to overstretched NHS appointments. Sadly it is not.
Other Pain Clinics
Before I established my own clinics I worked within a number of private clinics. I was shocked at the speed at which patients were hustled in and hustled out.
Many clinics had a practitioner treating three patients at any one time (albeit in separate rooms), and the practitioners were literally running from one treatment room to the next.
This is something that is still a common practice.
Back Pain Treatments Are Outdated
So WHY are the traditional back pain treatments outdated? Well, many of the treatments that have been around for the last century rarely worked in the first place.
Second, a crack of a facet joint or a rub of inflamed soft tissue WILL NEVER address underlying root causes of back pain – they can help, but they won’t fix the issue.
The first stage is seek to understand. Unless we have a clear picture of what is causing your back pain, we have no right to ‘see what works’ with the usual treatment protocols.
Length of a Back Pain Assessment
How long should a practitioner spend assessing a patient’s back pain?
I have over 10,000 hours of hands-on experience of working with patients with back pain, as well as countless hours studying, researching and providing advanced education on the subject.
AND I still feel quite rushed if my team and I have less than 3 to 4 hours to assess a new patient with back pain. AND this is with access to previous medical notes and scans.
Not to mention that before I assess a new patient I also evaluated their sleep pattern, home and work ergonomics, diet, stress, and most other areas of their health and current lifestyle.
I know, I thought so too until I saw the results that this approach did for me and my 15 years of back pain torture.
When I replicated this approach with my own patients and saw the results they also had, I was convinced and thoroughly confident in this truly holistic approach.
If you’d like to read further on our approach to back pain then click here to download a free back pain guide.
*this is NOT a detailed assessment or treatment