Look at the people to your left and right, if you do not have low back pain, then it’s likely they do. Research estimates 80% of Americans will have low back pain at some point in their lives with up to 10% of individuals having chronic low back pain >3 months. Treatment of back pain alone is over a $100 billion per year industry.
To measure the outcomes of how low back pain is managed can be a sticky situation. While Doctors may view it as a relief of symptoms, insurance companies view it as whatever outcome is cost effective, and employers think it’s having the employee back at work. Physical therapy traditionally focuses on things we can measure, such as range of motion and strength. However, a patient’s focus with PT is being able to get back to all the things that they love doing without pain, which is representative of their quality of life. We are living in a time that this gap in expectation has become evident. Medicine has discounted a patient’s participation in activities they enjoy, and people are getting tired of being told to stop doing what they love. While I would love to delve deeper into this topic on philosophy, I’ve digressed from the intended purpose of this blog; to discuss our unique approach to low back pain that has been widely successful.
The disconnect in how low back pain should be treated has never been more wide. Chiropractors focus on alignment, massage therapists focus on muscular tension, acupuncturists focus on meridians, medicine focuses on the inflammation, and physical therapists tend to focus on range of motion and movement patterns. While everyone has good intentions, and each type of treatment has its place, all of the above are necessary components of a good treatment plan and should be able to be applied by skilled practitioners. The approach at The Doctors of Physical Therapy is simple. First, the patient needs to be in good alignment. Without good alignment, the muscles are unable to both stabilize and move your body like they are supposed to. Once good alignment is achieved, then we must retrain the muscles to function with that alignment. This portion includes both strengthening and movement patterns. As alignment is restored and movement patterns are mastered, there is a resulting decrease in muscular tension and inflammation. In this manner we address all of the above directions of treatment simultaneously which produces effective and long lasting results.
This approach has been successful for a wide number of conditions related to misalignment and muscular injury. Conditions ranging from having sciatica to general low back pain, hip pain, bursitis, SIJ pain, and piriformis pain to name a few. This method of treatment has been widely successful and able to resolve >80% of all cases that come through our door with the above issues. To help you identify if you may be someone who would benefit from these treatments we have written a post that details the presentation of a person with muscular induced misalignment vs skeletal shock induced misalignment. If you would like to consult with one of our Doctors to see whether you are a good candidate for treatment please fill out one of our inquiry forms and we will contact you shortly.