One of my least favourite privileges working as a physiotherapist with persistent and complex injuries and pain, is to discover that a significant number of unhelpful ideas about what is going on in a person’s body, were given to them by their Health Practitioner.

 

Now, this is a sticky topic and has a lot of levels to it. The reality is though, that we deal with a lot of people who have narrowed their lives down to very little, as a result of their pain. A big part of this for some, is that what they think is going on in their body, leads them to a life of fear and avoidance.

 

Discs Slipping, Bad Posture, Poor Mattresses, Poor Footwear, Instability, Alignment, are all common terms and ideas that are talked about for back pain. They are also based on limited or no evidence. Sadly, these directions often are fruitless, which leads people deeper into their worry.

 

Their is a huge money making industry around back pain, built on exploiting people who are in pain and vulnerable. Patients who will do “anything” to get some relief.

 

So, to you I say be aware. Although it is important to trust your practitioner, it is also essential that you challenge them. Don’t blindly be lead down the road of excessive treatment,  additions like lumbar rolls, mattresses, and orthotics, unless it is genuinely indicated to be necessary, by a practitioner who is up to date with the evidence base on back pain.

 

After all, although I acknowledge the benefits of placebo, it does not need to cost your life savings to get it.

 

James