Approximately 80% of the United States’ population will experience back pain at some point in their life. This doesn’t include those that have neck pain, knee pain, shoulder pain, etc. So what exactly is pain and what is it not?
Pain is a sign that something needs looked at. It’s a sign to get an exam and see if something is awry with the body’s movement patterns.
Pain is usually the last symptom to show up and the first symptom to go away. More often than not, we hear of people that just bent over to tie their shoe and their back “went out”. Most times we can trace back to something the day before or even two weeks before and see where the back was made vulnerable. Bending over to tie the shoe was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.
Pain is NOT a life sentence. Most people can achieve getting pain free. Is it easy? Not always. Does it happen overnight? Not usually. It can be a frustrating journey but with time and the right exercise program, it can happen.
Pain is NOT a sign that you will never do what you love again. We understand that pain is not a pleasurable experience. We also understand that sometimes it does keep people from doing what they love… for a period of time. BUT we like to use those things as motivation to get better. Many times, in our office we use those things as our measuring sticks to check on progress.
The last thing that we’ll say pain is not is a sign that we immediately need imaging done. In cases of trauma or certain other situations, immediate imaging is required. However, once we rule out red flags, most people can begin a trial of care without imaging. We depend on our exam and history for this tremendously. It is time for imaging if there is no improvement seen in a trial of care. That time frame is typically less than a month.