Trying to recover from chronic low back or hip pain or any sort of ongoing pain can be an incredibly frustrating journey for people. Trying to find answers often leads to confusion due to the conflicting advice you receive from health care professionals… so what can you do?
Once red flags have been ruled out, how can you help yourself and get your life back? Who do you believe? Who can you trust? What if the medication doesn’t work and you want to get off the medication? What if the pain relief/injection fades away and or it didn’t give any relief in the first place? What about your neighbor who had back surgery and they never looked back? But then again what about your cousin who has had 3 back surgeries and is now worse off than ever? (Please note that just because you have pain in the same area as somebody else that the root cause is the same.)
Trying to get your pain cut out doesn’t work and often the outcomes post-surgery are a lot worse in terms of disability and pain and yes there are people whose symptoms do improve post-surgery but often you get better with or without the surgery. So why have the surgery? The biggest predictor for surgery is previous surgery, surgery can also have a strong placebo effect, this has been proven in several studies, where people thought they had surgery (they received a small incision mark) and the pain went away.
Post-surgery people are more invested in their recovery and they take the tome off, they do their exercises more diligently. This attention and recovery can often be the reason why people feel better.
3 Tips To Recovering from Ongoing Pain
Tip #1: Don’t expect a magical fix for your pain (and be wary of people who offer such things).
Once pain has been ongoing a minimum of 3 months there is a minimal link between your pain and any damage to tissues. So, an approach that focuses solely on the joint itself is often too narrow a focus and sometimes completely irrelevant.
Tip #2: Be prepared to make some changes yourself.
Tip #3: Find the right therapist
The advice healthcare professionals give to people carries a lot of weight. Negative advice is extremely powerful and can absolutely cause you to get worse, do less, lose hope and get more pain. Words are powerful and often the advice is incorrect “stop exercising” “you will never run again” “your spine is fragile” “you just have to live with this” etc etc. These words can drastically impact your mood, outlook and can influence your self-efficacy and your attitude going forward. So look for someone who specialises in ongoing pain, try to email or call that person before you book and see do they listen to your story, ask them if they think they can help you have they helped people like you before. Look at their online reviews.
Finding the right therapist can be extremely difficult, educate yourself on why you have pain, ask plenty of questions, be open to the possibility that it is about more than just what is going on in your back, hip or your joints.
If you have any questions on ongoing pain or need answers please feel free to contact us here at firstname.lastname@example.org