Solve back pain; eat less, move more and stretch properly – revolutionary cure discovered and ignored.
Reading some recent press about back pain, I was really pleased to hear two senior medics of the opinion that our zest for quick-fix medicine is not only unhelpful, but ignores the problem and distracts us from addressing the causes. I had growing misgivings about the numbers of my clients receiving pain-killing injections.
The article was about the effectiveness (or not) of pain-killing injections. It is seen as the smart thing to do if you are in the know. Don’t suffer pain – I agree, don’t! That would be silly. It’s what you do about it that is important. The injection takes the pain away. True and with a busy lifestyle that is brilliant, but as was said about the results of four studies referred to in the article, two in the US, one in Australia and one published two years ago by the BMJ here in the UK, the writer Peta Bee notes that “no matter how many shots were given, the pain is being relieved, not treated.
As we are a complex organism, we cannot treat our glitches like a leaky gutter or a squeak in the bicycle wheel, so quick fixes only ever mask the problem and not only don’t fix it, don’t even look at why it happened.
Therapists out there will recognise the glazing over of the client’s eyes when discussion turns to what they can do to help solve their back problem. Them solve it?? Isn’t that what we do? Well no actually. We can help them identify it and we can treat them and make them feel better. If that’s what they want, then all is well. If they would like a resolution, they could look to and listen to an experienced body worker, personal trainer or other interested professional. Aches are more often caused by not enough movement than any other factor. We are supposed to move and the right kind of movement is also important. Over the years I have treated plenty of men for overdoing the wrong movements and an equal number for almost no movement. Most present with “back pain” or a “trapped nerve”. None would want to hear that they don’t have a back problem, they have a lack of abdominal muscles problem.
So, if you ache through your lifestyle, the likelihood is that the most effective solution will be to eat less, move more and stretch properly. It will take longer than an injection and last longer. It will cost less than an injection, which at £500 will cost you more than a year’s gym membership. It will make you look and feel better and change not just your back pain, but your outlook on life.
Peta Bee’s excellent article is in the Times of 27th August 2013 and well worth a read http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/health/
It is supported by today’s report by The National Trust that one in seven adults don’t walk more than 500 meters from their car.
Declan Clark has been a therapist for 29 years. With understanding of the body, an interest in fascia, and as a Buteyko Breathing Educator, Declan brings things together to help people live better lives.