It is estimated that 12.5% of workplace absence in the UK is due to back pain. Most commonly this is due to a chronic or long-term condition which has been building up for a while, either causing flare-ups or constant pain.
To understand this, there are two realms to back pain which are important to know:
- The cause
- How the cause expresses itself
The cause includes trauma, mental health, nutrition, mental health AND nutrition combined.
While how the cause expresses itself includes: where does it hurt, what structures are affected, how does it hurt, how much and for how long does it hurt and what other issues does it cause?
As a population, we are used to covering up how the cause expresses itself with painkillers but less of the focus seems to be on finding the cause of the pain.
A good example of cause vs expression is a herniated disc.
A herniated disc is a diagnosis telling us what structures are involved, anyone can diagnose someone, but that’s nothing special. Finding the diagnosis is not the issue here, it’s finding what caused the diagnosis and why this structural issue happened in the first place, whether that is, for example, repetitive trauma, a nutritional deficit or depression.
There are many causes of pain that someone could be alerted to early which could prevent problems, such as a disc herniation, later on.
What is reactive care?
Many people are guilty of going to a chiropractor because they have had a flare-up, they have an acute injury or because their chronic pain is stopping them from doing the things they love to do. This is called reactive care.
By all means, if you are in these situations then of course I would definitely advise seeking help from a chiropractor or another musculoskeletal specialist.
Many problems which cause pain are recurring or chronic/long term and finding the cause is the key to success. Chiropractors are trained in diagnostics for not only musculoskeletal issues but also more systemic or visceral issues as it is important to rule out anything we cannot manage in our office, but of course, we can give you advice on these things.
Finding the cause before it takes effect or causes symptoms and/or pain, is as important to prevent the issue from occurring in the first place.
So how do I prevent these problems in the first place?
Preventative care helps avoid future problems from occurring instead of waiting for symptoms to happen. As a chiropractor, we can discover underlying causes for future issues that, if you eventually became symptomatic, you wish you knew earlier.
This could be something as simple as foot biomechanics, muscle imbalances or something you do every day which may cause more pressure to land on certain structures in your body.
Even knowing how important mental health is to your physical body and taking time to look after your stress levels will reduce the likelihood of ending up in our office for reactive care.
People who take preventative measures for their health and well-being come to my office less often, usually for an “MOT”.
This is how we like it! It’s always better to address the route of a problem before it can become even more of a pain (pun intended) to deal with.