If you have never read anything I’ve ever written, read this! If not for yourself, for someone you know and love.
You don’t have to accept back pain or diagnoses of what causes back pain.
Wow I said it!!
I was listening to a podcast recently that talks about this in great detail. In most cases of "Science", the scientific method asks to you consider alternative hypotheses. So please listen!!
AN MRI ISN’T THE MOST EFFECTIVE DIAGNOSTIC TOOL.
I posted a link below that explains some of the research. So please listen!! A study was done with MRI’s taken from people with NO back pain at all (asymptomatic). I don’t remember the exact statistics, but more than 90% showed disk degeneration. Something like 30+% showed disk bulging or herniation. Another large percentage showed stenosis. Yet none of these people had back pain.
CAUSE & EFFECT
Let me give you an example. Let’s say you do Mixed Martial Arts as a hobby along with your day job of being a carpenter. You also play with your kids a lot which involves rolling around on the carpet with them and them jumping on you a lot. And you have a 100 pound dog that loves to play too. You notice a big bruise on your arm. You blame it on running into a wooden beam the other day, but you’re not really sure. When in reality, it could be one of the 50 other instances where it could actually have been bruised. Cause and effect. Do you really know the cause?
When you get an MRI and visit several doctors, they don’t want to know the previous diagnosis. They would rather come to their own conclusions. What is found in research is that every doctor can interpret MRI results differently. You can go to 10 doctors with 10 different results. It is very subjective to opinion. When in reality, you may have had what appears to be a bulging disk for many years. If you have pain, they are going to blame it on what appears obvious. When, in fact, you don’t know what is really causing your back pain.
PAIN IS OFTEN MISLEADING, SO DON’T BELIEVE IT
The psychology of pain is complex. A signal is sent from your back to your brain and if you’ve never had a diagnosis of back problems, you may just let it go. Your brain doesn’t get in the way of your life that way. But if someone told you you have stenosis or a disk herniation, then the signal instead turns into pain. Now you have a reason to focus on your pain because of a diagnosis that you truly believe. When your pain may have nothing to do with what appeared on the MRI.
Sure, there may be a serious situation where acute pain is something that needs to be addressed. But that is rarely the case. In most cases, it has to do with lifestyle. If you sit in an office for 8 hours a day; and it often hurts to stand; and it takes you a good 50 steps before you can walk upright again; then the problem is something else. Its not your back. Its how you treat your back. Studies show that more office workers have back pain than people who work outside. Its because outside workers are always moving. They aren’t stuck in one position for long periods of time. The constant movement keeps the pain away. And if you workout, its probably for no more than 1 hour out of a 24 hour day. What are you doing with the rest of your day? An hour of fitness is never enough. You have to keep moving and varying your positions throughout the day.
AN MRI DOESN’T ACTUALLY TELL YOU WHAT IS CAUSING YOUR BACK PAIN
The bottom line is, don’t trust an MRI or a doctor’s interpretation of an MRI. Better yet, skip the MRI entirely. I was told this in my Thai Yoga Massage training, but I was skeptical at the time. Now I’m a firm believer in this. Instead, start moving. Don’t abide by a doctor’s prescription of bed rest or limiting certain things like lifting, running, or other activities in life. You don’t have to be a basket case for the rest of your life because of a wrong diagnosis. And, per the physical therapy podcast I was listening to, if any practitioner tells you that you need to be cracked back into shape, or they need to crack you to fix your scoliosis, or adjust your hip to relieve a leg length discrepancy, run the other way. They just want your money. You can solve your problems with good posture, variable movements, and lots of activity. You need to work out these issues you have or have someone find those issues if you don’t know how. But don’t isolate yourself to an office chair or couch for half your day.
In all of life, think cause and effect. Don’t give credence to pie in the sky suppositions. Life isn’t black & white. Just because you have a ding in your car fender doesn’t mean that is causing your engine to sputter. You have to think outside of the box and look at things in a different way. And you definitely don’t have to resign yourself to the sidelines. Don’t stop picking up your grand kids and hugging them. Don’t stop playing tennis or doing the things you love. And never accept bed rest. Its almost never the answer.