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Back pain improves quickly but usually recurs

There are no quick fixes to back pain, although there isn’t a shortage of patients who wish there were.  A meta-analysis of current back pain literature was done by the Canadian Medical Association Journal.  They found that low back pain was resolved quickly for those who seek care, but frequently those patients would have recurring back pain in the future.

Source: Canadian Medical Association Journal Photo: CC BY 3.0

This meta-analysis is very accurate, although I would have liked to see which patients were treated with which treatment.  Patients in my office only having manipulative treatment tend to get better very quickly, but continue to have long term back pain.  In contrast adding a core stabilization and back endurance exercise program we’ve been able to keep the majority of back pain patients pain free long term.  The issue, which we delve into in our low back section on this site, seems to be the lack of supportive structures around ligaments and joints which go through micro-failure due to work or lifestyle choices.

Commonly I will speak to patients who have a provider advise them to “do nothing” but continue their normal routine.  While this is good advice when compared to the advice doctors gave to patients years ago; which was pretty much to stay in bed, it is not good advice in relation to the patient who needs functional endurance to support these regions of micro trauma.


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