Back Pain- Taking Responsiblity For Your Own Health

A recently published study by Helen Frost, PT, in the BMJ, British Medical Journal, reported that routine physical therapy was no better at relieving mild to moderate back pain than good advice and self care through an instructional booklet provided by the PT. This study followed 286 patients with mild to moderate non-debilitating back pain, and found that 6 sessions of routine physical therapy was no better at helping this type of back pain than a one time PT consult and at- home care through the instructions from a “Back Health” manual. This controversial study needs to be looked into further- as there are some flaws with the type of back patients utilized in the research- but it brings to light an important point that I have made for several years; That YOU CAN help your OWN back pain by remaining active, stretching and strengthening the muscles that surround the back, and using smart back health techniques to reduce the risk of further back injury. Don’t get me wrong- I believe wholeheartedly in the immense skills and knowledge of physical therapists- but we need to take responsibility for the mild to moderate pain we all occasionally experience. Most people have a”do it to me” attitude- and seek out PT’s for all the answers, without realizing that their pain can be greatly relieved with self care techniques. Because mild to moderate back pain, in most cases, is due to poor posture, a sedentary lifestyle, weak and tight muscles and poor lifting techniques, there are a multitude of things that we ourselves can do to relieve pain and prevent injury. I have discussed these issues in my article “Healthy Back, Healthy Living” and, the accompanying exercise program available in the Member’s Only section of my website outlines exercises, stretches and active flexiblity work that will greatly benefit your health as well as your back pain.