We have a rapidly increasing global epidemic of low back pain and a system that seemingly continues to lead people down the wrong pathway. Two years ago there was a three-part landmark series published in the Lancet, a highly respected medical journal. This series aimed to systematically summarize previously published research and get the facts straight on the best guidelines for low back pain care. The researchers quickly discovered a divide between what they define as high value care vs. low value care treatment for low back pain.
To summarize low value care for low back pain includes:
This is the vicious cycle the Lancet research article acknowledges: “Patients request imaging expecting a diagnosis; clinicians order imaging because of entrenched beliefs and habits, perceived pressure from patients, fear of litigation and financial incentives; and health care systems continue to offer liberal access to imaging probably because of public demand and pressure from clinicians.”
Enough of what not to do…what should you do when confronted with an episode of acute back pain? Recommended standard first line care has not changed since the 2018 research series release and includes advice to stay active, avoid bed rest, option of spinal manipulation and/or NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories).
EXERCISE ALWAYS HAS BEEN AND STILL IS KING!!!
The best approach has always been, in my opinion, one that combines a progressive, individually tailored exercise program (with or without manual therapy such as gentle mobilization and/or manipulation) that accounts for individual needs, preferences and capabilities. This is why having the gym available at Mackie Physiotherapy is not only beneficial for patient care but actually a critical part of most patient encounters. The gym provides the opportunity, but it’s not the secret sauce - it’s the clinicians who know how to effectively use those gym resources to optimize results for their patients.
Mastering the art and science of exercise should be the cornerstone for treatment of your low back pain. I also believe exercise is a form of self-respect because you take time out of your day to do something that directly benefits YOU! Life is busy, I truly and honestly understand that, but consider this… If you set aside one hour a day for yourself and physical activity, that’s only 4% of your day. Can you give yourself 4%?
One Life. One Body. One Chance.
Dr. Rob Cutting can be seen at both Mackie Physiotherapy Clinics!
Call and book today!
Arlington: (306) 955-7888 Evergreen: (306) 952-6277
3012 Arlington Avenue
Saskatoon, SK, S7J 2J9
Monday 6:30 AM - 6:30 PM
Tuesday 6:30 AM - 6:30 PM
Wednesday 6:30 AM - 6:30 PM
Thursday 6:30 AM - 6:30 PM
Friday 6:30 AM - 6:30 PM
#40-211 Evergreen Square
Saskatoon, SK, S7W 0Z2
Monday 6:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday 6:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday 6:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday 6:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM