The Boston Globe discusses the 7 common mistakes doctors make with back pain.

The Boston Globe discusses the 7 common mistakes doctors make with back pain.

Whenever a press release comes out concerning a health problem such as lower back pain, the sentiments are usually echoed all over the media through different outlets, without a reporter doing the extra work to make the article worth reading. This article does just that and is worth the read.

There are many misconceptions about back pain, with chiropractors having the best record of treating the condition with the highest rate of satisfaction based on consumer reports. While chiropractors do not know everything about lower back pain, their culture of conservative care allows them to understand it more as a functional problem, rather than a thing that comes and goes away at will.

To understand the functional aspect of why people hurt, the book Cheating Mother Nature, what you need to know to beat chronic pain can give you, the consumer a better understanding of what lower back pain is, and what it isn’t. Unfortunately, most of the research is based on treatments rather than our understanding of what it is before we treat it. The main point is understanding before we act. Too many treatments claim results by trying to treat the pain, rather than understanding why the pain exists. Treating the problem usually resolves the pain. Treating the pain is hit or miss at best. To get the best care for your lower back, you need to find someone who can best understand why you hurt, rather than one who could do things to your back or give you pain meds which do not solve mechanical problems. Cheating Mother Nature can put you in a better position through consumer knowledge to find the people who are most likely to help you.

The myth of self resolution unfortunately continues to be printed over and over, yet, the nature of the myofascial system shows that injuries result in tightened myofascial, which surrounds all the muscles. If we are built in a way that makes us prone to back problems, repeat episodes merely damage the back further and results in more and more problems as we age; unless we decide to take a different approach and work on the mechanisms that create the chronic back issues, rather than the pain as if it is an entity that just happens to nice unsuspecting people (sometimes that does happen, however mechanical body issues predispose us to these problems).

Most medical physician unfortunately, are placed as first contact, yet have a poor understanding of why we hurt. They are in many cases the decision makers who determine who visits which other providers for which care, which has been one of the leading drivers of MRI, other diagnostic imaging and medical specialist visits which result in procedures such as epidural injections which are minimally effective for their huge costs.

Read the article here, it does a pretty good job of explaining the problem with lower back pain.

7 mistakes doctors commonly make for back pain

By Deborah Kotz Globe Staff

August 05, 2013

Many patients who don’t have a medical reason for their back pain — such as a spine injury from a car accident — get unnecessary imaging tests and surgeries that won’t do much to ease their discomfort. That’s because doctors still aren’t following practice guidelines that have been around for 20 years. In fact, this problem seems to be getting worse, according to a study from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

When the researchers reviewed 24,000 medical records from patients treated for back problems from 1999 through 2010, they found an increase in referrals for operations and an increase in prescriptions being written for addictive narcotics to reduce pain, according to the study published last Monday in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

At the same time, fewer patients are getting over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, which the guidelines recommend as a first-line treatment.

Researchers don’t know why doctors ignore the recommendations from the American Pain Society and American College of Physicians, which are based on studies that show which treatments work.

“Patient expectations probably play a big role as well as financial incentives for doctors to order expensive imaging tests,” said study author Dr. John Mafi. Also, he added, “it takes longer to sit and reassure patients that their pain will likely resolve on its own than it does to order an MRI.”

Learning about seven common mistakes doctors make when treating low back pain — and what the right course of action should be — might help you avoid unnecessary tests and overtreatment.

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