Back pain is something any of us can experience, and it can be extremely debilitating.
Just like most forms of pain, back pain is the result of the brain being sent signals that force you to feel a certain way. Sometimes, it’ll pass and cause no lasting damage, but in rare occurrences, back pain can be far more serious and require immediate medical attention.
But what if you leave back pain too long? More importantly, what if there’s an underlying issue that neither your GP nor your physio has discovered?
Why do some people fail to ask for help with back pain?
Often, by the time people come to see us, they’ve usually attempted to get help and will have tried a number of things to ease their pain.
This leaves them feeling despondent, so the reason for not asking for help is usually quite simple. They just feel like ‘that’s it’, and the pain can’t be treated.
The problem is that lots of people with back pain start by visiting their GP. This usually results in ‘wait and see’ advice, the administration of painkillers, or a physio referral.
Those approaches may work in some cases, but what if there isn’t an improvement? In such instances, people will usually bounce back and forth between GPs and physios for nothing more than short-term gain at best.
I’ve had surgery, but I’m still in pain – what gives?
Some people will commit to surgery only to come out and find they’re still in pain. This could be identical pain or the pain may have moved elsewhere.
The most common reason this happens is because no-one has actually found the root cause of the pain. More importantly, they haven’t looked at the rest of the patient’s body as a whole to work out the factors behind the back pain.
Confusion, misinformation, and even myths are often at play here. Cost is also a factor; many people understandably worry about how much effective back pain treatment could cost, without considering the financial and emotional cost of ongoing chronic pain.
Can back pain be left for too long?
Yes and no.
If there’s no sinister cause behind the scenes (such as cancer), leaving it won’t necessarily make your back pain worse or harder to treat.
Back pain often gets better by itself, which is why living a normal, active life is usually the best cause of treatment. However, if the pain becomes chronic and remains untreated, it can start to occur in conjunction with other health issues such as depression and underlying diseases.
Put simply, the longer you leave back pain, the longer you’ll suffer, and the knock-on effect on your overall health may result in something far more major.
What if there’s something else causing the pain? Something that is, on the face of it, totally unconnected?
An example: Sarah and her chronic back pain
Sarah was 40 and had been suffering with back pain for many years. After investing time and expense in lots of treatments that ranged from visiting a chiropractor to massages and exercise, she was feeling a lot better.
However, there was an underlying problem which still caused issues for her back. Thankfully, Sarah visited a clinic that knew how to find the root cause.
As it turns out, as a child, Sarah broke her little toe. She then started putting all of her weight through her big toe while walking, rather than distributing it evenly across the foot. Since then, her brain has been unconsciously ‘guarding’ that toe from injury to the extent that the brain has essentially ‘forgotten’ the toe exists.
By working with a clinician to ensure her weight was instead transferred through her entire foot while walking, Sarah found herself with far less back pain.
This story is similar to people who injure limbs and don’t go through a proper rehabilitation programme. The subsequent weird movements and habits their body picks up as a result has a domino effect that might result in back pain or headaches.
What should I do about my back pain?
If you’ve tried the doctor and don’t feel satisfied with the answers, perhaps there are some alternative approaches to back pain that our experienced practitioners can undertake for you. Combined with tried-and-tested protocols, these methods might alleviate the pain you’re experiencing and find that root cause – just like Sarah.
To find out more about our solutions for back pain, simply get in touch with our knowledgeable team today.
Disclaimer: the content of this article is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute or replace the need for seeking clinical advice from a suitably-qualified healthcare professional.