Columns/Opinion, Dr. Trembush and Dr. Stout

Back pain is not likely to go away on its own

Q: I am feeling pain in my back and wonder if it is a really bad idea to wait and see if it goes away on its own. Do you find that back pain can resolve without any treatment?

A: Back pain is not likely to go away on its own in many cases. When it does, it is common for it to return if proper therapy has not corrected the original pain generator. And the fact that 80 percent of people will have back trouble at some point in their lives is no consolation. It’s the second most common reason for a visit to a doctor’s office.

The back is a complex structure, with muscles, bones, joints, nerves and ligaments working in delicate balance. It’s so complex that it has been shown that most caregivers are not very good at diagnosing the true problem and therefore offer a less than optimal or incomplete treatment recommendation. A twinge or a minor ache in the back may come on suddenly and be gone after a day or two. But what most of us would describe as ‘pain’ will not go away without proper treatment and knowledge about prevention.

The pain is usually the result of one of the back’s many components not working properly. If, for instance, a vertebra is out of line or a disc is compressed, it could be pinching a nerve and causing a muscle to spasm. This problem is not going to go away without a chiropractor putting that vertebra back in place or rehabilitating the disc. Taking medication so that you don’t feel the pain will leave the area weakened, still dysfunctional and very prone to re-injury. A chemical treatment (medicine) is never going to properly address a mechanical and physical ailment.

Avoiding back pain is one of the best approaches. Regular exercise, particularly those exercises that strengthen the body’s core, is critical to keeping back pain out of your life. A sedentary lifestyle contributes to the likelihood of developing lower back pain. Talk with a chiropractor about what is truly wrong, how to attempt to fix the problem for good or at least manage it better, or even better — ways to avoid back pain altogether.
My office and providers voluntarily offer community health talks free of charge to those in the Morgantown area. Each speaker is a representative of The Foundation for Wellness Professionals.
We can be reached at 304-225-9355 for questions regarding this community health service, if your organization is interested in wellness speakers.

Upcoming programs:
— 5-6 p.m. Friday, teacher apperication day, offering teachers free chair massages, free consult with doctors and insurance review with our case manager.

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