Published on February 13, 2013
Each patient who has suffered with low back pain tends to have his/her own miracle solution to report. One person will comment that having manipulation as performed by a chiropractor immediately solved their problem. Another person will comment that a physiotherapist achieved great results with various machines and stretching. A third person will comment that yoga has made a huge difference. A fourth person will mention core exercises, while a fifth will attribute his recovery to acupuncture. A sixth person will report great relief with a product such as a back support. And the list goes on and on.
Multiple Sources For Treatment Options
The low-back-pain-suffering patient will typically peruse through different websites looking for answers to their problem only to become confused after reading through countless possible conservative treatment options and exercises. In addition, this same patient might visit multiple health providers, such as a chiropractor, physiotherapist, family doctor and orthopedic surgeon, only to become even more confused after receiving conflicting opinions about what the actual problem is. Some patients have diagnostic testing which either proves to be inconclusive or the results are interpreted differently by different health providers.
As a result, it is easy to understand why low back pain sufferers are confused and frustrated with their problem. This might help explain why low back pain is one of the top five reasons today to visit a family physician.
Low Back Pain is Difficult to Diagnose
One of the main problems is that it is often difficult to provide an actual structural diagnosis, especially when one takes into the account the possibility of adaptation/compensation that might occur as a result of the initial problem. For example, a low back pain sufferer will commonly continue on with portions of his/her life, but will change the way he/she moves in order to both help alleviate symptoms and remain functional. This potential for adaptation/compensation will likely only complicate the clinical picture. This might help explain why physical/hands-on treating health providers, such as chiropractors and physiotherapists, will report achieving better results when they include treating potential adaptation sites such as buttock, hip, and/or middle back regions in addition to their low back targeted interventions.
An individualized approach is clearly critical in terms of increasing the chances of success. Two patients, each of whom might initially present similarly from a clinical standpoint, might in fact end up following completely separate and individualized paths to recovery. The key is to find various treatment(s), exercises, educational information and other recommendations that ultimately help achieve the desired outcomes. This might initially entail somewhat of a trial-and-error approach. It is imperative that the patient works closely with his/her doctor/therapist and commit to a reasonable course of intervention in order to improve the chances of recovery and symptom resolution.