Why Does My Back Pain Always Come Back?

If you’re like most people suffering from low back pain you’ve probably experienced the ‘ups and downs’ that come with the condition. Some times your low back feels good, sometimes it gets worse. One of the most common patterns we see in the office is that a client has tried chiropractor or ‘traditional’ PT and while their low back felt during the course of treatment, once the treatment stopped, the pain returned. They may be feeling frustrated and skeptical about seeking another provider. they In essence, they feel stuck.

So what gives? Why does your back pain always come back? In this article we discuss this phenomenon and the importance of movement and strength in finding SOLUTIONS to back pain.

Short Term Relief vs. Long Term Solutions

The traditional approach to treating back pain is to provide some sort of service to help the injured tissue heal. All manual therapies (chiropractic adjustments, massage, acupuncture, etc) are effective in helping tissues heal. They bring short term pain relief which is hugely beneficial in that, the short term. But manual therapy alone fails to bring a long term solution because it doesn’t address why that area was being overloaded in the first place. Remember, most low back injuries aren’t caused by one traumatic injur, instead they come up gradually.

So to SOLVE low back pain we have to ask, why are the tissues being overloaded in the first place?

The important of Movement and Strength

The #1 cause of non-traumatic low back pain are small irritations that become compounded over time. Where do these irritations come from? Poor movement and inadequate strength to support our daily routine! Movement patterns are defined as how we coordinate basic movements. How do we bend over? Pick something up off the ground? Raise our arms over head? If not performed correctly these will place an increase load on our spine. While they are usually a small irritation that doesn’t cause pain right away, when repeated daily for years, it becomes an issue! If no attention is paid to how we’re loading our backs during our everyday activities we’re doomed to keep experiencing low back pain.

The body has an amazing ability to heal itself. However, it’s unrealistic to expect the body to heal if we keep repeating the irritating activity. It’s similar to ‘picking the scab’. Each time we repeat the irritating activity, the healing process has to start all over again. So while the manual therapy has successful healed the injured tissue, the pain will return the minute we repeat the irritating movement.

If we keep repeating the wrong movement patterns, or don’t have adequate core strength to protect our spine, we’ll never be able to fully recover from pain.

Improving movement and strength ensures that the loads we experience while performing our daily and weekend routines are going through the areas that are meant to take such a load.

So to answer the question why your back pain keeps coming back is because treatment plans at ‘traditional’ clinics only address the injured tissue, not the movement pattern and strength issue that led to the injury in the first place. SOLUTIONS to low back pain need to address both and is the reason a progressive movement and strength program is a NECESSITY when it comes to solving back pain.


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