6 Things you NEED to discuss with your back pain patients

prrttherapyEver wonder what life would be like if you lived with back pain?

10’s of million know what it’s like and are desperate to learn how to live back pain-free. I was one of them and if you are as well you know how rough this can be.

Back pain complaints rank as one of if not the top reason a person sees a doctor.

The problem is not many people in pain find solutions that they feel addresses their pain issues.

Why is this?

Many reasons…

First and foremost, back pain is far more of a problem in parts of the world where people are less active, especially if they sit for a living most of the day.

Second, our diets don’t help as we consume many foods which are pro-inflammatory.

To name a few:

Gluten based bakery products

Nightshade plants….tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, eggplant & tobacco

A good way to have patients test for sensitivity to the above items is to choose one (Nightshades or Gluten) and have them swear off of the inflammatory items for 72 hours. Have them note any changes. Then have them add it back into their diet. If aching or stiffness increases (especially the next morning) that will be an indicator of sensitivity.

Third, the lack of adequate magnesium can often lead to muscle tension and sometimes spasm.

Magnesium is the most unique of all minerals as it drives over 300 enzyme systems and no other mineral has anything close to this critical role.

Be sure to slowly increase magnesium as too much can have a laxative effect.

Best sources of magnesium would be: Threonate
Less than ideal sources include: Oxide

Fourth, some people with depression have co-existing or co-morbidity of back pain.

In fact, most spine surgeons refuse to operate on someone’s back if they haven’t addressed their depression and have it under control.

Now tread lightly with #4 here as you don’t want to discuss the “D” word with your patients. I’d suggest asking them about stress levels. If you sense they may be in a depressed state then you could ask if they’ve ever spoken with a therapist, Psychiatrist, etc.

Fifth, one common thing I keep hearing from people who still have low back pain is the exercises they’ve been given don’t seem to help and sometimes make their pain worse.

After a half century of experience, what I’ve learned is that if the person in pain does them correctly and with the frequency advised and still has the same pain or worse as a couple weeks go by, the exercises aren’t likely to be their solution.

Lastly, it’s ideal to keep in mind how primally wired our entire spine is… including our back.

One of the most unique muscles in our body, the psoas major, a low back muscle, is frequently a culprit in the scheme of how low back pain presents itself.

Knowing and addressing these reasons for many suffering from low back pain will help to ease their pain.

One thought on “6 Things you NEED to discuss with your back pain patients”

  1. Rudy Hunter says:

    Thanks John; you’re SO right on all counts! Epic back pain was actually the thing that curtailed my own dancing career and set me on the path [eventually] of falling in love with bodywork. I can tell you that JUST THE ONE TIP about the Magnesium would have been a life-changing and improving help for me had I known about it some 35 years ago! I very relentless make sure I cover all of these possible gems with my friends and clients. Appreciate the tips, you & your willingness to share your great work with us. Much love, Rudy Hunter

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