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Patient Resource Library

“If there is the slightest chance that a patient can be educated in the methods that enable him to reduce his own pain and disability using his own understanding and resources, he should receive that education. Every patient is entitled to the information, and every doctor should be obliged to provide it”.

Robin McKenzie, CNZM, O.B.E., FCSP (Hon), FNZSP (Hon), NZCP (HLM), Dip. MT, Dip.MDT

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Back Pain: Information & Advice

  • Back aches and pains are usually not due to any serious disease.
  • Most back pain settles quickly, allowing you to get back to a “normal life.” However, it is true
    that 50% of people with back pain will have another episode within a few years.
  • Back pain can be very painful. At First, you may need to modify or reduce your usual activities.
    However, you should keep moving because total bed rest for more than 2 days can actually do more harm than good.
  • The sooner you get back to normal activities, the sooner your back will feel better. Keep in mind
    that your back is designed for movement.
  • Spinal manipulation, or the chiropractic adjustment, can decrease pain and restore normal movement to spinal bones.
  • The people that cope the best are those who move and stay active despite the pain.

Causes of Back Pain

  • Your spine is one of the strongest parts of your body. Made of moveable bony blocks with a cushion-like disc in between, your spine is both strong and flexible. Strong ligaments and powerful muscles further stabilize it.
  • Most people with backaches or pain do not have damage to their spine.
  • Very few people with backaches have a “slipped disc” or a trapped nerve.
  • Most x-ray findings are due to normal changes that occur with aging. These degenerative changes do not necessarily mean that you have arthritis.
  • Most back pain is due to abnormal function of the muscles, ligaments and joints in your back. They are simply not moving and working in the manner that they should. This can usually be corrected through spinal manipulation and therapeutic exercise.
  • Stress can increase the amount of pain that you feel. Tension causes muscle spasms that are painful.
  • People that are physically fit generally get less back pain and recover quicker.

Active Exercise or Rest?
Old fashioned treatment for back pain was prolonged bed rest. However, bed rest for more than 1-2 days is not good because of the following reasons:

  • Your muscles and bones get weaker.
  • You get stiff.
  • The pain feels worse.
  • You get depressed.
  • You lose physical fitness.
  • It’s harder to get going.

Of course, you might need to do slightly less when the pain is bad; or you might be forced to have a day or two in bed at First. But the most important thing is to get moving again ASAP!

Exercise Is Good For You
You body thrives with use. Activity is what helps to keep your body healthy.

Different exercises suit different people. Our chiropractic physicians can help you find out which exercises suit your back the best. Aching muscles after exercising is normal in the beginning. It does not mean that you are damaging anything.But do remember to rearrange your routine to get some daily exercise scheduled.

No one pretends that exercising is easy; it can often hurt a little at First. But one thing is certain: the longer that you put off exercising, the harder and more painful it will be. The choice is yours.

When to See Your Chiropractic Doctor and What They Can Do
Sometimes you can deal with back pain yourself, but if the pain persists, or continues to recur, or if you just want to speed up the recovery process, you should see a chiropractic physician. Chiropractors can diagnose and successfully treat a variety of spinal conditions. If yours is one of the few truly serious spinal conditions, your chiropractor will be able to accurately diagnosis it, and refer you to a medical specialist, if necessary.

Doctors can reassure you that your condition is or is not serious.They utilize a variety of treatments to help you control your pain.They can advise you on how to manage your pain and reduce the chances of relapse.

WARNING SIGNS: (Remember that back pain is rarely due to something serious)

  • Difficulty passing or controlling urine or bowel movements
  • Anal or genital numbness
  • Numbness, weakness, or pins and needles in both legs
  • Unsteadiness on your feet

These symptoms are rare but if you do have back pain and suddenly develop any of these symptoms, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. You should also see a doctor if you have severe pain that gets worse instead of better, or if you feel sick with your back pain.

There Are Two Types of Suffers–Those that avoid activity and those that cope!

  • Avoiders get frightened by the pain and worry about the future.
  • Avoiders are afraid that hurting means further damage — it doesn’t.
  • Avoiders rest a lot and wait for the pain to get better.
  • Avoiders suffer the most because their pain lasts longer, have more time off work, and can become
    more disabled!
  • Copers know that pain will get better and do not fear the future.
  • Copers carry on as normally as possible.
  • Copers deal with the pain by staying at work, staying active and being positive.
  • Copers suffer less and they are healthier in the long run!
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