Get an Accurate Diagnosis

Want to solve your lower back pain? First, get an accurate diagnosis.

This is my pet peeve. I see lots of people with chronic lower back pain, who have been to lots of previous practitioners. Most back pain sufferers do not get an accurate or useful diagnosis. Diagnosis guides treatment.

If you see your primary care provider, or an orthopedist, you will get an x-ray, and usually be told you have arthritis, no wonder you hurt. Arthritis, or degenerative change, goes along with the aging process. Arthritis is rarely the cause of back pain.

If you see an osteopath, a physical therapist, or a chiropractor, you may be told that your SI is out of line, or your pelvis is twisted. This is an overused and often inaccurate diagnosis. The pelvis has to twist to compensate for whatever else is wrong. The SI is only occasionally the actual cause of your pain.

Some chiropractors will take x-rays, and point out areas of twist or torque that they will say they can fix. (And then some of these chiropractors will propose a long and frequent treatment plan, based on making you afraid – don’t get me started on my opinion of this lowlife business plan masquerading as chiropractic care.)

I think we can do better. Back pain usually has several contributing factors. There are specific problems that contribute to ongoing back pain. Some common problems are frequently missed by most practitioners; these include functional hip impingement, the flexion intolerant lower back (unhappy discs which cause back pain), and problems at the thoraco-lumbar junction and its nerves, causing pain into the flank and pelvis. (PS- You can Google my articles on the above topics). Each of these diagnoses leads to a specific strategy for effective treatment.

If you have pain for more than 48 hours, you will develop muscle imbalances. Some muscles will get too tight to attempt to protect you, the stabilization muscles that get weak. We will assess these imbalances and get you started on the right exercises. (PS- Stretching, especially forward bending and/or twisting, is rarely useful.)

If you see Dr. Marc, Dr. Matt, or Dr. Heather, we will attempt to figure out what is really wrong with your back. We will attempt to reproduce your pain with motion. We will do a thorough history and physical exam. Our treatment will be specific for the treatable parts of your problem, usually combining low force adjustments, with rehab and soft tissue treatment. Don’t just live with your pain; get an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment, and start enjoying life again.

Southern Oregon Sports & Spine
987 Siskiyou Blvd.
Ashland, OR. 97520
(541) 482-0625
Check out their website here

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