The 3-Step Process Those Suffering from Chronic Back Pain Would Be Wise to Use
- Get evaluated by something other than x-ray – Listen, regardless of what you have been told, x-ray will only give your clinician so much information. The only thing you can truly evaluate on x-ray is the status of the bones. You cannot truly make a judgment of the status of the discs, the ligaments and tendons of your spine, or the nervous system that is inside of your spinal column. It literally just deciphers whether you have arthritis, or degeneration, fracture, dislocation, or some other form of pathology (infection, cancer, etc.). It’s a great place to start, but if a year later you still have a problem, indicated by the presence of pain, seek a provider who wants to use something else. These would include computerized infrared imaging, MRI, NCV, or blood or urine analysis; you can never have too much information! Pain present up to a year is unacceptable, and beyond x-ray!
- Choose a clinician with a plan, or process, not a quick fix – It should be very clear to you at this point that if you have had an abnormal process, or problem occurring in your body for up to at least a year now; it probably won’t go away overnight. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. It doesn’t matter if it is an MD, PT, DC, ND, acupuncturist; the idea that some “minor” surgery, magical potion, lotion, supplement, or special bath water is going to automatically get rid of this year-long problem is just not realistic. Don’t fall into the trap of “minimally invasive”, or instant anything; the only difference between minor and major surgery, or procedures, is minor procedures are happening to someone else. If it is happening to you; it is major. Whether it is a weight loss plan, exercise plan, physical therapy plan, or a treatment plan of some sort, there needs to be a long term plan in place to getting you results over time that last.
- Seek multiple opinions, and don’t get discouraged – Like I mentioned before, you can never have too much information. One thing I like to recommend, is to receive at least two or three opinions from someone in different fields of expertise. The fact of the matter is, different experts look for different things, and through different lenses. For example, you may have already seen a physical therapist, who recommended a certain exercise, muscle therapy, or rehab regimen, and you have tried it for some time and found it effective for short term pain relief, but you still have pain; indicates the muscles may not be the issue. So, you seek an MD, and you have tried injections, or some type of medication, and again, it gives you some relief, but the long term effect is still chronic pain; indicates inflammation is not the problem. Don’t get discouraged and just decide you are a lost cause until you have sought alternative things such as acupuncture, naturopathic doctors, or chiropractic that might have a different philosophy that addresses YOUR unique presentation.
I hope this helps, and gives you a different perspective with which to tackle this issue you are having. Just know that when it comes to chronic pain, and people that deal with pain up to a year, in my world, I look for areas that indicate improper healing. You probably have at some point had a trauma, or injury that has progressively gotten worse because your body’s healing mechanism is not working properly, which has led to pain over time, and an inability to heal. To have your healing mechanism evaluated, just simply go to drgrantdennis.com, and set up your 15-minute consultation to see if you are not healing properly. It might be simpler than you think.
Yours in health,
Dr. Grant, drgrantdennis.com, 501-420-2815