Back pain is such a common problem and a common issue. It affects 80% of the population at some point and goes on to be an ongoing issue for many.
The general theme is we get back pain, it settles and then it comes back, takes a bit longer to get rid of. And so on.
Those spread out episodes that were every few months and lasted a couple of weeks, are now regular and hard to get rid of or pretty much constant. Until one day you have constant pain.
So what happens?
The medical profession are not very good at giving great advise. We all have differing opinions about what we see and what s going on, and unfortunately we don’t actually know for sure, we ust make a highly educated guess given what presents in front of us – and true to being fickle – it is never just one thing that’s an issue.
If you have back pain, nothing will show on x-ray unless its a posture issue with the actual spine position, or a break, or arthritis. That’s it.
MRI’s and CT pick up the soft tissue. This is when we can see discs, muscle, ligaments, tendons etc – so we notice irregularities in the soft structures.
So here’s the thing – Just because you had a disc issue diagnosed 2 years ago – DOES NOT mean that that is what is your issue with pain NOW.
Everyone wants a reason for what’s going on – we want an answer as to why we have pain, a label and justification for why we feel crap.
I have a disc problem, I slipped a disc. I strained my back – well yes – but that was 2 years/ 10 years ago – you can’t fix a damaged disc that’s 10 years old – you can’t change arthritis – all our tissues have a set healing time frame – approx 3 months or so – then its the chronic phase of pain.
We hear it all the time.
I know I have a disc issue, so I cant do anything. The Doc told me they cant do anything for it so I’ve given up sport and exercise as it was sore.
Well technically yep – an acute disc problem we wanna be mindful of what you can / can’t do depending on its irritability, but hell yes – you do need to do something!
We have to be SO careful about what we say, because you as patients or clients hear a phrase and hold onto that – DISC – CANT DO ANYTHING FOR YOU.
What they may have meant was – Disc – doesn’t need surgery so nothing else to be done….
Getting back to the point – Chronic Low Back pain – and what you can do about it.
A disc can’t be acute for ‘years’.
What happens is its inflamed so slightly ‘pushing out’ for want of a better word, and that acute stage and recovery can last a few days to few weeks. After 3 months – its now a chronic issue. ( unless you re-injure it).
The status of that damage is as is – that’s why when you have more constant back pain and it’s re scanned – it hasn’t changed, yet you feel so much more pain and so much more often.
So what has changed then?
Well, if you do not move, …
- the joints get stiff and they get harder to move leading to PAIN
- the muscles get stiff and tight – leading to PAIN
- the muscles become weak leading to PAIN
- we lose some muscle function as they are inhibited ( Core muscles) leading to PAIN
- we get posture changes – leading to PAIN
- and so on…..
Now – you are in a cycle of pain that we need to break into.
YOU CAN HELP YOUR PAIN.
I wholeheartedly believe there is always something we can do to move that pain dial.
There is always something you can do so your episodes resolve more quickly.
We can always improve function.
We can always move.
It just means re teaching and re training the body on what to do, how to do it and when. You DO need that info in the right order to get results and you need to be committed to accepting it’s not a quick fix.
So – No you do not have a disc issue anymore in some cases – you have a body that has adjusted itself and now has pain due to those changes.
We workout what’s going on now with what we see NOW. We are not treating and managing your disc – we are managing YOU x