Low back pain is the third most common reason why people visit their doctor!  Think about that. The number one reason people visit their doctor is for cold and flu symptoms.
Back pain is an epidemic in this country and is THE LEADING CAUSE of activity limitation and work absence throughout much of the world. 
You have all heard the stories about someone lifting too heavy of a weight or working in the yard and someone’s back going out. That experience can be very painful and debilitating. You find yourself in bed with a heating pad unable to move. You call in sick the next day hope that it will go away soon.
The reality is that most of us will have a low back episode at one point in our lives.  And if you are lucky enough it will go away quickly. If you aren’t lucky, it will become more of an issue. The great thing about low back pain (if there is such a thing) is that if you treat it quickly it typically gets better much faster.
It is in human nature to hope that unpleasant things will simply go away. We ignore the rattling noises of our car. We put off going to the dentist thinking that tooth ache will go away. Why not take the car to the mechanic and get that noise cleared up? Why not get into the dentist and solve that tooth ache that has been bothering you for two weeks.
Those who get physical therapy earlier, within 14 days, have better outcomes. It makes sense… the earlier you address an issue, the easier it tends to be to fix it. 
With that said, we have people in our clinic who have suffered with back pain over 30 years and they still do extremely well with our treatment … it just takes longer than our clients who have had pain for a much shorter period of time.
When we compare outcomes from conservative treatment versus surgical intervention, physical therapy performs as well as surgical interventions in the long run.  Think about that for a bit. You will do just as well with physical therapy rather than go through a risky and costly back surgery. 
So the take home points of this first article in our 3-part series:
- Low back problems are extremely common, so you are not alone
- The sooner you identify and address the root causes of your pain, the easier and quicker it tends to be to fix the problem; BUT we find most low back pain very treatable even if it has been going on for decade.
Don’t let your back pain get in the way of putting on your pants in the morning, picking up your young child, or sitting comfortably in your car or at work. It is likely something that can be vastly improved with the right treatment … if you haven’t already read it, click below for some Free information on what you can do right now to ease your back pain:
- St. Sauver JL, Warner DO, Yawn BP, et al. Why do patients visit their doctors? Assessing the most prevalent conditions in a defined US population. Mayo Clinic proceedings Mayo Clinic. 2013;88(1):56-67. doi:10.1016/j.mayocp.2012.08.020.
- Andersson GBJ. The Epidemiology of Spinal Disorders. In Frymoyer JW (ed.) The Adult Spine: Principles and Practice. Philadelphia, Lippincott-Raven, 1997, pp. 93–141
- Childs JD, Fritz JM, Wu SS, et al. Erratum to: Implications of early and guideline adherent physical therapy for low back pain on utilization and costs. BMC Health Services Research. 2016;16(1):444. doi:10.1186/s12913-016-1681-2.
- Froholdt, A., Reikeraas, O., Holm, I. et al, No difference in 9-year outcome in CLBP patients randomized to lumbar fusion versus cognitive intervention and exercises. Eur Spine J. 2012;21:2531–2538.
- Hedlund, Rune et al. The long-term outcome of lumbar fusion in the Swedish lumbar spine study. The Spine Journal , Volume 16 , Issue 5 , 579 – 587