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Why Isn’t My Rehab Program Eliminating My Pain?

By Jason Arnett, MS, ATC, PES | October 21, 2015

We have treated patients with acute low back pain. We have treated patients with chronic low back pain. We have treated patients that have had years of physical therapy, personal training, taken yoga and Pilates classes, seen surgeons and pain doctors, etc. You have to wonder why individuals progress from patients to chronic, long term patients and opt for surgery, injections, and medications and yet still feel NO relief. Why are patients not getting better?

THE CAUSE OF THEIR PAIN HAS NOT BEEN ELIMINATED.

If you have been in a rehabilitation program for months and months and you still hurt, or have flare ups, the cause of your pain has not been identified. Without properly identifying the underlying source of the pain, the responsible actions cannot be removed from your daily activities. Tissues become painful because of repeated motions, sustained postures, and loads you place on your spine with normal, everyday activities such as sitting, gardening, twisting to answer the phone, poor posture, etc. These motions, postures, and loads are ingrained into your everyday movement patterns. Simply addressing the pain does not change the faulty movements and postures causing your tissues to become painful.  In fact, the faulty movements and postures were there all along and eventually created a focus of stress on your tissues causing your painful episode.  Unless these actions are addressed and removed from your daily activities, the pain will continue to return regardless of surgery, injections, and medications.

A common example is an individual that is experiencing pain when sitting, or flexion intolerant. Sitting in this sustained posture overtime can cause the posterior spine tissues, including discs and ligaments, to become stressed and painful. You cannot “stretch” away this pain by pulling your knees to your chest or by touching your toes. These stretches actually reproduce the injury mechanism!

THE FIRST STEP TO ELIMINATING YOUR PAIN IS TO TAKE ACTION!

Make a choice to correct the underlying source of your pain by seeing a Physical Therapist. Allow them to evaluate your posture and movements to determine an appropriate course of action, whether that be posture screening or developing a more ergonomic workspace. Eliminate your pain for good!

About The Authors

Jason Arnett, MS, ATC, PES

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