How to Recover from Chronic Back Pain

We love helping people who have chronic spinal pain. Our approach is very different from both the medical and the typical chiropractic model. We’ll focus on what you can do.

  1. Stop Hurting Yourself!

This is totally critical. Become aware of what movements irritate your back or neck. Stop doing them. Your nerves are irritated. If you keep hurting them, they will stay irritated, and you won’t get better. Don’t just block this sensation with painkillers, pay attention. We can guide you, but you have to listen to your body. In many lower backs, forward bending or twisting may be triggers. Learn to move safely.

  1. Be Patient

Getting over chronic pain is a process. It takes time. Your body has to learn new habits. First, learn to stop hurting yourself. Second, your core muscles have to wake up, and start firing. And then, you have to begin to develop endurance and strength.

Pay attention to the small gains, such as waking up with less pain or getting to the end of the day with less pain-driven fatigue. At first, changes may be subtle.

  1. Develop Realistic Goals

Chronic means you have had pain for a long time. The goal may be to decrease your pain, to change it from being at the center of your life to being a minor nuisance. To get the pain down from a 7 or 8 on a 10 scale, down to a 2 or 3. What activities are important to you? Is it picking up your child or grandchild? Is it being able to sit through a movie? Share these goals with your doctor.

  1. Do the Work

We will be showing you exercises and different ways to move. You have to embrace this; you have to do the exercises. The goal is to change your bad movement habits. That only happens if you pay attention, do the exercises, and start moving differently. We are not magicians, we are coaches and doctors. PS – if you have pain doing an exercise (or pain afterwards, or pain the next morning), stop that exercise. And tell us about it at your next visit. We often have to fine-tune your exercise program. When something doesn’t work, we both learn from that experience.

  1. The Big Picture

America has an epidemic of overdiagnosis and overtreatment. There are far too many fusion surgeries for the lower back, far too many people getting steroid injections over and over. This is not good medicine, and has long term risks. There are few magic bullets. There are many conditions that require good management, rather than radical approaches hoping for miracle cures. You need to be proactive, and look first for the solutions that have minimal risk.


Southern Oregon Sports & Spine
987 Siskiyou Blvd.
Ashland, OR
(541) 482-0625

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