Thursday, May 20, 2010

Lower Back Pain

It's interesting. If you look through a lot of the medical literature you'd think that back pain came out of the blue.

Take these quotes from a report prepared for Workcover in South Australia: -

Draft recommendation 4. 1. 1
In the majority of cases of acute low back pain (approximately 95%), no specific diagnosis can be made nor needs to be made.

This is just bunkum. Name something else that doesn't have some sort of a cause.

I can tell you the most likely cause - tight hamstring and buttock muscles that take the pelvis out of alignment. Do that and the bones of the vertebrae above it go out of alignment in sympathy. Then the muscles, tendons and ligaments are stretched beyond their limit. You experience pain.

Then discs are squeezed out. When the nucleus hits your spinal cord it hurts like hell.

That's the flexibility part.

The other part is a lack of strength to keep the spinal column in correct alignment.

6.7.1 Specific exercise programs
There is insufficient evidence to recommend specific exercise programs (e.g. stretching, strengthening, side bends, flexibility/mobilising exercise, or aerobics) over no treatment for workers with acute low back pain. The McKenzie exercise, however, may have some benefits over no treatment for workers with subacute low back pain (Grade C).

More bunkum. If the cause of the problem is weak and tight muscles you'd think that strengthen ing the weak and looening the stong would b the obvious thing to do.

Draft recommendation 6. 7. 2
There is insufficient evidence to recommend that specific exercise programs (e.g. graded activity, strengthening, stretching, aerobics, extension and flexion exercise) are superior to other conservative treatments or usual care.

So what is usual care for lower back pain?

A rub down, hot wheat pack, pain-killing pill and a lie down.

Just ask yourself if this is the type of treatment you'd expect an elite athlete with lower back pain?

More bunkum.

So what can you do?
Well one of the first things you can do is ignore most of the stuff you read from the National Health and Medical Research Council, refereed medical and physiotherapy journals and the Cochrane Collaboration. That's where the group who put together these recommendations got their informastion.

And who is the mob who put these recommendations together? Adelaide Health Technology Assessment (AHTA), Discipline of Public Health, School of Population Health and Clinical Practice, University of Adelaide

The second thing you can start doing is the exercises I recommend in the series of ebooks.

In the meantime stay tuned, highly tuned and spend some time each evening, on the floor in front of TV doing your exercises.

John Miller

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