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Serving Melbourne

for over 20 years

35 Churchill Ave , Maidstone

VIC 3012, Australia

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Serving Melbourne
for over 30 years

Group 11

35 Churchill Ave , Maidstone, VIC 3012, Australia

Why just accepting your life includes back pain might be your biggest mistake

So you’ve had back pain for years. You’ve tried everything. Right? You’ve given up hope. You’ve agreed to just learn to live with it.

“Failure is just a lack of persistence”

I get it, you’re exhausted, you’ve dealt with this relentless niggle for years. You’ve spent thousands on physios, chiros, osteopaths, specialists, gym programs and you’re still in the same position as when you started.

Well, I’m here to tell you you’re not alone.

Everyday I hear more and more people who are just like you. Who have now been classified “Chronic Pain” patients because nothing seems to work.

For some people, this relentless pain has resulted from a significant injury, such as a car accident or similar. For others it’s simply be a niggle that has kept progressing over many years.

The result for many just like you, is chronic pain management. Finding the right cocktail of drugs to ‘block’ your pain. To hide it. To prevent your brain from seeing it. But is what you’re experiencing a failure of therapists to correctly diagnose your problem, a lack of knowledge or understanding of the process or perhaps a failure of the treatment to adequate correct the markers diagnosed?

I see too many people who have suffered for years down this path because of one of the above three things that then automatically lists them as a chronic pain patient.

Let me make it clearer for you. If you had a rock in your shoe, it would hurt every time you walked, right? So lets say we diagnosed this as flat feet and gave you orthotics, it might make certain markers and measurements better, but the rock is still there so your feet still hurt!

Then a different approach is taken, and you get exercises to strengthen your feet. Hey, the markers change, and they look better, but still your feet hurt.

Eventually you’re listed as a chronic pain patient and put on medications to try and reduce the pain in your foot, all the while you just had a rock in your shoe that no one ever noticed!

Sounds crazy right? But I see this all the time. Simple diagnostic misses that result in people suffering for years simply because the wrong treatment was selected because of an incorrect diagnosis. Even worse, sometimes this results in an escalation of care to surgery that is then unsuccessful simply because the wrong diagnosis is being chased.

In fact a study published in 2017 in the Journal of Pain Research showed up to 20.6% of people who underwent lower back surgery were classified as having “Failed Back Surgery Syndrome”1 Now that’s not to say surgery is never the right choice, but merely to show just how important the right approach needs to be.

So, what’s the alternative?

The biggest reason I see so many people fail with care is a focus on strength and on imagery. There’s a presumption that many practitioners seem to take that any abnormal anatomy must be the cause of pain. A perfect example of this is the number of people I see incorrectly treated for disc problems when they have had simple functional issues just because an MRI or CT has revealed they have a ‘bulging disc’.

Whilst strength is an issue for many people with sedentary lifestyles, a failure to adequately activate muscles efficiently or in the right sequence is a common cause of chronic back problems.

So, do you want to know how I would approach your problem of chronic pain…?

Ok, here’s some key steps I would take:

  1. NEVER give upDon’t ever accept your fate. Don’t ever accept that life has given you a bum deal. Understand that there are practitioners knowledgeable in specific areas and that one practitioner, irrelevant of whether it is a surgeon, physio or chiro or have areas they have high levels of expertise in and areas they are less familiar with. Don’t hang the profession because one practitioner couldn’t fix you.
  2. Ask honest questions – Don’t be afraid, it’s your life and your health. Ask detailed questions and expect detailed answers. Ask things such as “Are we at a point where you are unsure what is happening?”, “Is it possible we have missed something, and we should have further tests done?” or “Is there anything else I can try?”.
  3. Seek further help – Don’t be afraid to get another point of view. A different practitioner, a different field, a different thought process. This is your life! Don’t accept mediocrity.

I completely understand it’s hard to know who to speak to or when you should question an approach that has been taken. I know, you’re not trained in this field.

If you want to chat, discuss your situation or even be assessed by my team, just contact me, send me a message, comment on this post on one of my facebook posts and I’ll help you in any way I can.

You’re never alone.

Dr. Trevor Chetcuti

Chiropractor, CEO

Spinewise


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Serving Melbourne
for over 20 years