I spoke with a recent potential patient. We had spoken several times and I was telling him surgery was not the route he should go with his back pain based off a few questions. He could tell me what made him worse and what made him better. He was told he had stenosis and degenerative changes and the doctor wanted to do surgery.
He had been to other Physical Therapy offices but was not getting better. Since he had a good understanding of what made him better and worse, it shows me that it is a mechanical/lifestyle issue. Meaning we need to address his mechanics in his lifestyle throughout the day to be one of the things that needs to be addressed that was not.
He also told me he felt better walking which does not align the same pain mechanics with stenosis. You would feel worse with walking. There were several signs that conservative care would work with the right healthcare provider. But, he decided to have surgery even after telling this patient that I could help.
I spoke with him again recently after having his surgery. I told him that even with the surgery his pain will return. He said that he was feeling a lot better, but was still hurting and agreed that it is possible that his pain will return.
I asked him what he was being told from his lifestyle that he should adjust or avoid! He said he was not to bend or twist. I said great, but have they gotten into specifics as to what you are doing in your lifestyle that is creating your problem? He said no, they just told him not to bend and twist.
Here is where the problem lies.
When you are not sure what you did to hurt in the first place, you have to figure out what they are doing through out the day or where they are compensating that is creating the problem in the first place.
THAT IS THE NUMBER ONE THING THAT IS NOT CURRENTLY BEING DONE IN MOST OF OUR HEALTHCARE SYSTEM!!
You can have the surgery, but if you go back to the exact same things you did before the surgery that created the problem, you will hurt again and it will lead you down the path to another surgery. I have seen it time and time again.
I always like to use the finger analogy. If you pull you finger back and keep it there hours and hours each day and your joint starts to hurt, you can do all the Physical Therapy, strengthening, massage, injections, surgery, acupuncture, Dry kneeling, ART, Chiropractor, etc, you want; if you go back to bending your finger back you will hurt again. The joint does not like to be in this position. It is not its normal resting position.
So I asked this patient, what are you doing throughout the day that makes you worse? He said sitting makes me worse.
I said did anyone ever go over sitting posture with you and give you different options you can do instead of sitting? He said NO.
I went on to say does it make sense that if that is what is hurting you and you continue to do it, that you will go back to hurting like you did. He said you are probably right.
Giving cookie cutter advice does not work. Just like giving cookie cutter exercises does not help. We need to sit down and have conversations to truly understand what is going on and how the body responds.
If you are frustrated with your back pain care or you are going down the path of surgery and want to learn more on what can help for you, you can either fill out THIS FORM to speak to one of our physical therapists for FREE.
OR you can CLICK HERE to get your free report on my 5 Top Tips I share with my patients to Help Get Rid of of Lower Back Pain…. Either way, you need to empower yourself with information to make an better decision about your health.
You might just be surprised on how you can avoid surgery, injections or medications and how you can start living your life and get back to spending time with your family or getting back to being active again.