October 11, 2023 Dr. Danny Govenar

“HABITS AND BACK PAIN”

Habits are a funny thing. Most people hate to change habits.  Why? Because they are comfortable.  This is true for good and bad habits by the way. But sometimes a little pain will help you change a habit really quickly.  But the most motivating factor for change is fear.  Fear of not being able to do the activities you love to do ever again.  Let me tell you about Sarah to prove my point. 

Sarah is 65, healthy, an avid traveler, fast walker, and gardener extraordinaire. Sarah has been a “Band- aid” patient of mine off and on for years. What do I mean by “Band-aid “patient? It means it is a temporary fix for a greater problem. This is not an insult by the way.  I would say more than half of patients are this way.  Including myself sometimes.  It’s like putting a tiny Band-Aid on a gaping wound that needs 20 stitches.  Sure, the bleeding will eventually stop, but the scar that is left behind is forever. Back pain is really the same way.   

Sarah for example usually calls me in crisis mode. Two days before she leaves on a vacation expecting a miracle. Does this sound familiar? Fortunately, we have succeeded most of the time.  At least regarding pain control. But not fixing the problem. Last year, however, was a little different.  Sarah came in with the usual crippling low back pain.  We treated her a couple times then she vanished!  I just assumed the pain had improved enough to go about her normal daily activities until the next episode.  But this time was different. Little did I know she had chosen to just avoid the activity altogether to avoid the pain. What provoked the pain?  Turning to her left. 

Here we are one year later. Now not only can Sarah not turn to the left without severe pain, but she is unable to walk more than a block, and unable to bend over to garden! This had gone too far! 

So, what did we do?  We found exercises and movements she could do without irritating the problem to help her heal and turn to her left pain free.  We also found her a simple solution for gardening pain free! Two weeks later she is back to walking and gardening!

See the video below we gave to Sarah to get her back in the garden! 

Pain is not fun.  Let us be honest.  But avoiding it altogether is just not an option.  If you have an activity, you love that you have been avoiding due to pain, WE CAN HELP! 

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