Why do people with lower-back pain have so much trouble figuring out what to do?

First, everyone seems to be selling some kind of gimmick, treatment, or pill, but there is no magical cure. Second, there is no medical subspecialty that focuses on general spine care. As a result, every subspecialty has learned its one or two treatment techniques. You have multiple professionals who think they have the one answer. Finally, we don't have a good standard of care for lower-back pain. Everybody has different preferences. Where one person may respond well to acupuncture, another may do better with analgesics.

How do you sort through the options?

Navigating the selection of available, advertised, and commonly used treatment options without an informed guide is like shopping in a foreign supermarket without being able to read the product labels. There are more than 60 medications currently being offered to back-pain patients. There are well over 100 different manual techniques in chiropractic, physical therapy, osteopathy, and massage therapy. More than 20 different exercise programs exist. There are more than 9 educational and psychological therapies and more than 20 different injection therapies. In addition, there are a variety of minimally invasive interventions offered as an alternative to surgery, and many surgical approaches. Finally, there are a large number of lifestyle products such as braces and beds, and a constantly changing variety of complementary and alternative medical approaches.

1 comment:

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