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Top 3 Tools to Manage Your Back Pain

Spoiler alert – there is no quick fix when it comes to curing chronic back pain. The key to long term success is consistency and action. Here are my top 3 tools for back pain management – so that YOU can manage your back pain, instead of YOUR BACK PAIN managing you!

June 17, 2024

1. Education

There are so many myths and misconceptions out there about how to treat or manage back pain (especially when you ask Dr. Google!). Back pain is a very common condition that affects people worldwide; in fact, globally, low back pain causes more disability, activity limitation, and missed workdays than any other condition1. And although back pain can be alarming and disconcerting to experience, evidence shows that 90% of low back pain is not caused by serious underlying injury or disease, and does not require MRIs, CT scans, medication, surgical referrals, or opioid prescriptions1. This also means that 90% of low back pain cases typically respond well to conservative care options, including but not limited to, chiropractic care and exercise rehabilitation.

Knowledge is power, and understanding what is contributing to your back pain experience and learning how to self-manage your back pain is one of the most effective tools in the treatment of back pain.

2. Exercise & Movement

The research is clear – one of the recommended first line interventions for the management of low back pain is exercise and movement1. This exercise and movement should be gradual, progressive, and specific – there are some exercises, such as sit-ups and Supermans, that can actually make back pain worse. Knowing which exercises are appropriate, and which ones to avoid, will play an important role in optimizing your recovery.

Put simply, different people are different; everyone deserves an individualized approach to their treatment plans.

Implementing the optimal exercise for the right person at the appropriate time in their recovery journey is critical. Having a trusted healthcare professional (such as a chiropractor) to help guide you through your rehab program based on your symptomology can not only help you anticipate your recovery timeline but can also help you prioritize exercises that will get you back to doing the activities you love!

Not sure where to start when it comes to exercise rehab? Check out the research-based GLA:D Back Program, designed for individuals with persistent and/or recurrent back pain that negatively affects their everyday life and function.

3. Self-Efficacy

Research shows that approximately 80% of adults (aged 16 years or older) will experience an episode of acute low back pain at least once in their life1. In Canada, approximately 30% of adults have low back pain that recurs within 6 months, and 40% within 1 year of their first episode1.

Knowing this, it is imperative to find a healthcare professional (such as a chiropractor) who empowers you to be an active participant in your back pain recovery2.

Self-efficacy is defined as a person’s belief in their ability to complete a task or achieve a goal3,4,5. Within the context of health and wellbeing, self-efficacy is the belief that you can take action to help prevent disease, maintain good health, and successfully cope with illness and disability.

Supporting self-efficacy is an important element of back pain care because patients are less disabled by low back pain if they trust in their ability to manage it, and effective treatments for low back pain partly work by reducing fear and increasing self-efficacy2.

Having a healthcare professional (such as a chiropractor) who can help you feel more confident in managing your back pain yourself if, and likely when, you have a low back pain flare up is one of the most essential strategies for the management of back pain.

Have you been struggling with recurrent episodes of back pain? Do you feel like you don’t have control over your back pain? Are you unsure if the exercises you have been prescribed (or have found on Google) are the right exercises for you?

Book your complimentary consultation or initial assessment online today!

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog is for informational purposes only. It is meant to augment and not replace consultation with a licensed healthcare provider. Consultation with a licensed healthcare provider is recommended for anyone suffering from a health problem.

References:

1Health Quality Ontario. (2019). Low back pain: care for adults with acute low back pain (Quality Standard & Patient Guide). Retrieved from: https://www.hqontario.ca/evidence-to-improve-care/quality-standards/view-all-quality-standards/low-back-pain.

2Kongsted, A., Ris, I., Kjaer, P., & Hartvigsen, J. (2021). Self-management at the core of back pain care: 10 key points for clinicians. Brazilian journal of physical therapy, 25(4), 396-406.

3Bandura, A. (1977). Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavioral change. Psychological Review, 84(2), 191-215.

4>Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: A social cognitive theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

5Bandura, A. (1997). Self-Efficacy: The exercise of control. New York, NY: W. H. Freeman.

Do you experience recurrent or persistent low back pain?

If so, you may be eligible for a research study (U of A Ethics ID: Pro0014015 / Version Date: March 26, 2024) only offered with select chiropractic clinics in Alberta – and Dr. Rebecca is one of them!
Interested in learning more? Book your complimentary consultation or initial assessment today to learn if you’re a good candidate! Don’t wait – recruitment for this project only runs from June-September 2024!