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At The Mayfair Clinic we have patients everyday who have tried a number of different approaches to their back pain before seeking help privately. So why do so many patients have little to no results using conventional back pain treatments?

A usual chain of events happens that we hear time and time again. A patient goes to their GP about their back pain which may have been ongoing at this point for a week or two, perhaps longer in some cases, who may then send them away with a prescription for painkillers as it should go away on its own – they may be told to just rest and not do any strenuous activities (this in some ways can be completely counterintuitive, but we will go into more depth about this later).

Seeing Your GP For Back Pain

If the back pain then doesn’t go away, the patient will return to their GP who may then either prescribe stronger painkillers or refer them for physiotherapy. If that then doesn’t work for the patient, they may then move onto perhaps having an MRI to confirm what may already be suspected, a disc bulge. From there, a lot of the time injections will be recommended. One of the main issues with this approach is that the injections are usually used in the facet joints, even if it’s already been confirmed that they’re suffering with a disc bulge. So, why are injections carried out in a different part of the spine to the part that’s actually causing the problem? This process is generally where patients have more of a lack of understanding, or are not aware why the injections are being done in the first place. Injections can be used as a further diagnostic tool to see if the facets are also inflamed. But, if they’re not the injection will likely not have any effect on the patient’s level of pain. So, when we hear that someone has had injections but not responded, it is usually simply down to the fact that they’ve had injections in an area that is not the root cause of the problem.

Painkillers for Back Pain

In spite of strong painkilling drugs and invasive treatments, we hear time and time again that these approaches don’t work for a lot of patients. In our opinion, this is largely down to a failure to understand back pain. Speaking generally, the majority of cases of back pain are not life-threatening. With a health service in the UK focused on saving your life (for which it does a fantastic job), its approach to tackling quality of life in cases where back pain is non-life-threatening is just not refined enough for most back pain sufferers. As a result, there just isn’t a level of detail in understanding exactly what’s causing your back pain and therefore how to fix it.

What Can Cause Back Pain?

Here at the clinic we see cases of back pain that could have been ongoing for as little as 2, 4 or 6 months, or lasting over 10, 15 or 20 years. In those cases, this chain of events has failed the patient because it has not treated the root cause of the problem – it has only been masked. Take painkillers or injections for example, these are the two most common treatments given to back pain sufferers besides physiotherapy. Pain is there for a reason, to tell you that there’s something fundamentally amiss in your body. Masking that pain is only going to make the problem worse in the long run, especially if these methods do help to relieve your pain. Not only do they cause undesirable side-effects they also can relieve your pain enough to be not only ignorant to the cause of your pain in the first place, but also allows you to continue doing the things that make your back pain worse.

Is Your Back Pain Self-Inflicted?

As a rough guess, we’d say 95% of the patients that we see have back pain that is somewhat self-inflicted. Besides cases where the patient has been subjected to a sudden trauma such as a fall or car accident, there are things that most of our patients do on a daily basis that has caused their back pain or makes it worse. Think of the things you do on a daily basis where you may not think about your posture – your morning commute when you’re looking down at your phone, during the 4pm slump when you’re slouching at your desk, in the evening when you’re laying down on the sofa or on your bed watching TV with your head propped up. All these things can contribute towards excess compression on areas of your spine that just aren’t designed for it. If you have a back injury and it heals on its own, chances are it might just be a one off occurrence, but if it’s not going away, there must be something you’re doing on a daily basis that has been contributing towards ill-health in your spine and the same thing is probably preventing you from getting any better.

Injections for Back Pain

We sometimes hear from patients that injections have provided them with short-term relief from the pain, but months, weeks or possibly days after they’re back to the same if not worse level of pain. But the explanation as to why is relatively simple. While the aim of the injection is to apply steroids into an area to bring down the level of inflammation, usually the patient goes directly back to doing strenuous activity that probably gave them the back pain to begin with. We hear of patients returning to physical activity, heavy housework or work related activities, straight after having injections, things that they most likely were not able to do when they were in a lot of pain. In that situation, the body responds by becoming inflamed again. If the pain returns weeks or months later, it’s likely again the inflammation has built up again over a period of time because of something you’re doing everyday – whether that’s the way you’re walking, sitting or lying down etc.

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Our Approach for Back Pain

Our approach at The Mayfair Clinic is to understand fully why you’re experiencing pain and what are you doing on a daily basis that could be stopping you from healing. We do this using our in-depth examination, scans done upright to show exactly how you’re standing and how your spine is aligned. Your spine should be aligned in a certain way that helps it effectively distribute the force of gravity, but when it becomes misaligned this can mean that you’re placing more pressure on areas of the spine that just aren’t designed to bear such a large amount of weight. Take sitting on the train in the morning with your head leaned forward over your phone, your head is relatively heavy and all that weight shifted forward can place a large amount of pressure on your neck. Slouching during the day at work or at home can place a huge amount of stress and compression on your lower back. These are some of the main reasons that you tend to experience spinal issues more with your neck and/or lower back. Once you understand all of this information, you can now understand why sticking an injection into an area of your back is not going to be a wise approach, and that’s why we have such a high success rate with our patients.

Treatment for Back Pain

Once we’ve been through our examination process, we’ll then move onto using our range of treatments to help relieve the compression on your spine and help to reduce the inflammation. As a lot of back pain cases are a direct result of your spine’s inability to cope with the force of gravity, using treatments that use directly opposing forces can be helpful and feel pleasant for the patient as well. Our treatment, spinal decompression, can specifically help to reduce the compression in either the neck or the lower back depending on the location of the injury. Muscle spasms can be helped using our vibration therapy, which can often come as welcome relief for the patient, as muscle spasms are often diagnosed as a problem within themselves rather than a symptom of a back problem. Likewise, if the patient experiences stiffness in the spine, freeing up some of the joints using a gentle, repeatable spinal adjuster can provide the relief of a manual adjustment without the uncomfortable cracking sensation. Lastly, our laser therapy can offer anti-inflammatory effects and healing benefits to help support the rest of the treatments. Patients often find this particularly soothing and warming to the injured area, the treatment can continue to support the body’s natural healing processes even after the treatment has been completed.

So if you’re suffering from back pain and traditional methods have failed, it’s certainly worth seeing how The Mayfair Method could help your problem. Call the clinic today on 0203 947 3222 or email us at info@themayfairclinic.com to book your consultation in today.