Low back pain and the power of words

Back pain patients often seek professional help because they are experiencing pain or dysfunction that is beyond their understanding or ability to deal or cope with.
With the large number of people presenting with low back pain, health professionals can fail to consider how each individual patient’s pain experience will affect the interpretation of any information that the patient is given.
Therefore off the cuff and seemingly innocuous low back pain explanations such as ‘crumbling spine’, ‘disc degeneration’ or ‘wear and tear’ can have a highly detrimental effect.
Whilst the professional intention is to provide simple advice and explanation, such emotive remarks can form misconceptions that fuel a minor short term acute low back injury into a raging chronic long term disability.
Such misinterpretations can lead to fear and a sense of loss of control and helplessness. There is a wealth of chronic pain research that investigates the potentially negative power of words.
Fortunately clear communication and appropriate explanations and advice can have a longer lasting affect than any hands on treatment.
Click on the link to view a  short piece in the Sunday Express and short animation from the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy that gives simple low back pain advice.
In my physiotherapy clinic, giving you a clear, accurate and appropriate explanation of your problem is standard practice and vital for ensuring your successful recovery.

One Comment

  1. Lisa Johnstone

    Great blog!

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