As we get older we can be more susceptible to injury, particularly in our backs. When you’re enjoying the garden, getting out of bed, or trying to pick up those wriggling grandchildren, and then you feel a sharp twinge of pain, that’s a real bummer of a reminder of age!
But you don’t have to live with it or fear it. In fact, that’s the exact opposite of what you should do! Here’s what you need to understand to fix your low back pain.
1. Where you’re feeling the pain is usually different than what’s causing it
In our experience, we often have to look elsewhere for the true cause of your pain.
A great example of this is patients who feel pain in the bottom of their feet. That can actually be related to the nerves that come from the spine! Or vice versa – It might be that your lower back pain is being caused by a problem in your feet!
These are the kind of connections that are not at all obvious, and our certified practitioners will help you with.
Which leads us to…
2. Sometimes the source of your pain is different from your diagnosis
Over 80% of back pain has no identifiable reason that a doctor can find. In fact, it’s possible you may never get an exact diagnosis, and that’s ok! What you should really search for is the treatment that will rid you of that pain. For example:
Even if you’ve been to the doctor and they diagnosed you with a herniated disk (which is a very obvious choice for something causing pain), that might not actually be it! That herniated disk might be forcing you to walk different, sit different, sleep different, or any other number of things. Which then causes you to overcompensate in some way. Which then ends up causing the actual pain. The human body is very complex!
More common and less dramatic causes may include spending a lot of time sitting in a chair without the best posture, the uneven ground in your garden, or even the constant lifting of grandchildren out of the car.
It could be a lot of things!
But, understanding the cause can help you create a proper plan of treatment and work towards a pain-free life.
3. You must be an active participant in your recovery.
There’s no magic fix.
You may have already seen a doctor and received some medications (or an injection or two) that made the pain disappear, but that doesn’t solve the underlying problem.
Which means it’s most likely going to come back!
“Fixing it” means focusing your time on things that will actually change your physical anatomy such as stability training, stretching, balance, posture, and body awareness. Talking to one of our board-certified Physical Therapists about these exercises is a great place to get started.
4. Everyone is different.
No two people are exactly alike and will probably experience the same symptoms differently, even if you have the same diagnosis. This means you shouldn’t undergo the same treatment either!
Just because you’re getting older doesn’t mean you have to settle for pain and restrictions. Pain is not a staple with age, and we’d love to help you so you can enjoy the best years of your life pain-free.