Back pain, Consumer Reports and Widgets
In Consumer Reports most recent article “Is there a right way to treat back pain?”, they look at the many ways to treat back pain that are advertised or made available to us. Chiropractic care looks very good compared to other treatments however, it seems like everyone has a treatment or therapy to put us through for back pain.
As a lower back pain sufferer, you are likely wondering who to trust and who to go to for effective relief. Not all treatments can or do work as well, and some are downright expensive, without being better than other treatments. Even the more effective treatments can be hit or miss. The truth is, by looking at back pain as being the problem, are we merely treating patients like widgets on an assembly line and not meeting their needs, while occasionally helping a small portion of those who visit us? Back pain is usually just the symptom, and the cause is usually never fully addressed because most practitioners are taught to treat symptoms, rather than the mechanisms behind your pain.
While this is opposite from what most of our patients believe when they first visit, once they see the evidence behind why they hurt, their thoughts about why they hurt change through education. The most common reason for back pain is gait (walking) asymmetry and the way the body accommodates to it. This requires the health care provider to look beyond the back pain and look at your structure, how you stand, how you walk and hold yourself before formulating a diagnosis. When was the last time a doctor looked at you, and not just your symptoms or a test to determine your problem. If you have a herniated disc; why? If your hip hurts you when you lie down, why? Bursitis is rarely an intelligent diagnosis so what is?
The common thread is that most health care providers are trained to look at where you hurt and not why. Without having a holistic point of view on your body mechanics (looking at everything), they cannot possibly understand the mechanism that is behind why you hurt and make an informed meaningful diagnosis which will lead to an appropriate treatment or therapy. Without an understanding of why you hurt, the healthcare provider is likely just using protocols to treat you and you have become a widget of sorts, going through the conveyor belt of healthcare, with little hope of a real solution to the problem. Have you visited a healthcare provider who treated your back, and the problem returned, or you needed to continuously do exercises or else you cannot function in the morning. If that is normal, why doesn’t everyone feel that way. Perhaps what you really need is a second opinion.
If you are wondering where this is leading, you are most likely to get the best result with a holistic practitioner who looks at you, and your unique body mechanics as well as your back. By only looking at the symptom, your doctor has little hope of solving your problem. With all the treatments that are available, can they all be right? Smart consumers research, question and unless your healthcare provider can give you sensible solutions in plain English, you are likely going to do better looking elsewhere.
Some people may be offended by that thought, but like it or not, with the current high deductibles in the newer healthcare plans, we are all becoming consumers and paying dearly when we make bad decisions or for at matter, good ones as well.
Check out the most recent article by Consumer Reports.
Is there a right way to treat back pain?
Pills, shots, scans, surgery—what to do, what to take, and what to skip
Chances are you’ve experienced intense back pain. More than 80 percent of us deal with lower-back pain—the most common site of back problems and a leading cause of visits to doctors’ offices. For many people, the discomfort is so severe that it makes daily activities such as work, exercise, sleep, and household chores difficult.
Most cases of acute back pain resolve within four weeks with self-care. Usually, the cause is muscle spasm, not a serious problem such as a fracture, spinal stenosis, or cancer.
But while you wait it out, what can—and should—you do to ease pain that can be severe, especially during the first few days? The wide range of available treatments may feel overwhelming. And because some commonly used therapies don’t work well or are potentially dangerous, you’ll want to choose carefully. Our guide can help you heal safely.