5 Reasons Why Your Back Pain Won't Go Away Despite Time & Rest
Updated: Dec 26, 2019
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Imagine this scenario: You wake up one morning with a stiff & painful back & possibly leg pain that goes away in a little bit after walking. You were nervous at first about this new pain but happy now that it went away. This morning pain now decides to show up every so often and gets worse in intensity some mornings worse than others. On the days you do not have it all, you hope that it will go away completely and never return.
You are also trying some random stretches & exercises from Youtube and sometimes they even give you temporary relief. But then again on a different morning, you wake up with the same pain & stiffness. It has now been a few months or even years in some cases and you are thinking to yourself “I am not getting any younger. Will this get worse as I age?”
Sounds Familiar, doesn’t it? Most people who develop this “mechanical type” of back pain which is the one I described above- has “good days” and “bad days” usually wait a long time before they seek professional help for their problem because of this very reason. Their symptoms are not unbearable and they have days when they do not have any symptoms at all. As a result, they wait months or years to let their issue become chronic (which means it has been present for > 6 months) and hence will take longer to heal.
So let’s dive into the reasons why this pain is not going away with time or on its own:
1.You never did the RIGHT things to resolve your underlying Issue.
It is very easy to hope that this Back pain and inability to walk or sit or lift something heavy will resolve itself but it never does on its own completely. Yes, your body has the capability to heal itself but if given the right environment to heal, it will do better & your full function will return. Now what do I mean by the right environment, It means doing the right movements/exercises, adopting the right posture & avoiding things that aggravate it temporarily so your body can heal at its full potential.
2. Doing Exercises from Youtube does not COUNT
Now if you are thinking that I did some exercises from Youtube Videos titled “5 Best
Stretches for Back Pain” , it does not count. Remember, that free content on the Internet
Can be posted by anyone (there is no educational background check) before posting such Videos. Even if you use videos from a reliable source, most video content is very general & will not be specific to your particular issue. Remember, Every Back Pain is Different and hence the movements prescribed will be suited to that particular individual.
Doing exercises off Youtube is just like walking to a drugstore/pharmacy and picking up a random medicine and hope that you will guess the right dosage and it will help fix your symptoms (no matter what they are). You wouldn’t dream of doing that, would you? When it comes to movements & exercises, it is no different. They need to be prescribed by the right professional as to which movement, position, frequency, reps, hold time etc.
3. Back Pain & Stiffness is a Symptom, Not a Diagnosis
Every person even though they may have similar symptoms i.e back pain or stiffness, leg pain etc., there are a multitude of factors that make them different. First of all, Back pain is a symptom just like fever is a symptom. Only after doing a thorough assessment can your specialist determine the cause or give a “diagnosis” so to speak to this issue. Now, movement experts will give you what is called as a “mechanical diagnosis” which is valuable enough to help you move in the right direction.
You do not necessarily need an X-ray/MRI unless your skilled provider thinks there is a strong reason to get one. That is because X-rays and MRI’s have many findings that may not be relevant to your specific issue at this point of time. A topic that is discussed in great detail in a separate blog post.
4. Research supports that Time & Rest is not the BEST cure for your back pain, Right Movement is
Now this is the most important point of all. According to a study done by Long et al in 2004, people suffering from back pain were separated in different groups and given “specific exercises” - Exercises prescribed by a Mckenzie Method trained clinician after performing a thorough assessment and another group was given “non-specific exercises” - General stretches & mobility exercises. Of course, people who received these specific exercises had much better outcomes than the other group even months after.
So the point is more & more research supports the value of Specific Exercises also called as Directional Preference which is a hallmark of Mckenzie Method. This is a unique system of assessment & treatment that looks at repeated movements to help decide which movement is best suited for YOU. Along with movement prescription, this system often includes postural modification again specific to YOUR issue so that your spine gets the most appropriate alignment to heal.
5.You did not take the time & effort to understand what you can do to prevent it from getting worse!
Lastly, it is very easy to ignore the aches & pains until there is a strong wake up call and we see ourselves not being able to do things that we were doing very easily before. Whether it is playing with your kids, Running, sports, traveling whatever the case may be and the easiest thing to blame is age. Yes, our bodies go through some natural changes also called as “degeneration” or “wear & tear” as we get older. It is exactly like putting miles on your car. Your old car is not going run as smooth as a brand new one.
But majority of these mechanical problems cause a much faster decline in your ability to be active than age alone is. So, in simple words, you can do something about these aches/pains so your body functions as optimally as it can at that particular age. Luckily, in this day & age, we have a lot more tools to stay healthy than we did years ago.
Want to learn more?
If you or someone you know experiences this very familiar lower back pain or stiffness and/or sciatica symptoms, call us or visit our website to talk to your Spine Specialist today or you can even schedule a Free Discovery Session to learn more specifically about your problem and ways in which we can probably help.
We also know not everyone is ready to commit to regular physical therapy appointments, and that’s why we offer our Free Information Guide! This Guide is for people in our community who want really valuable, expert information about their Back Pain or Sciatica problems. We know it’s confusing out there with all of the information floating around on Google and Facebook, and this is a valuable first step towards getting some real answers for your problem.
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