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).
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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