If I Stand It Hurts, If I Sit It Hurts ...

A model for treating lower back pain and neck pain

Clients regularly come to our clinic with disc injuries. They bring X-rays, MRIs, and/or reports to prove it. Some were in pain, some are in pain, and some are scared of returning to their former pain-state.

For the most part, the majority of people do not want to go under the surgeon’s knife. There is the inherent risks involved in surgery - general anaesthesia, mistakes, staph infections etc., and the protracted and painful rehab and recovery, plus, the risk that the surgery is unsuccessful. Add to this the costs involved and it is something that is well avoided unless absolutely necessary and completely indicated.

It is normal for spinal discs to compress, decompress, and deform. This does not mean that they are injured discs. The discs create a cushioning effect, just like your cars shock absorbers. Rather than the car’s frame taking the jolts of every bump in the road, the shock absorbers cushion the bumps so the entire shock of the bump is not taken through the the stiff frame of the car.

When a car’s shock absorbers become worn, they become less effective and the car ride becomes bumpier.

This means that the shock absorbers have lost some of their resistance to being compressed, that is, they are more compressed more often, and more easily. This means that the car’s stiff frame begins to take more of the load of each bump.

This is what we do not want in our spine’s discs because that will mean our skeleton begins to bear more of the load. In a car, when this becomes problematic, you simply replace your shock absorbers.

Unfortunately, we don’t have the luxury of swapping out our spinal discs for a better, upgraded version. We try to understand why the spine’s discs are not compressing, decompressing, and deforming as well as they could. When pain or limited range of motion is present, it is often the muscles that maintain stability and mobility of the spine have become disengaged or dysfunctional.

At our clinic, we use specific testing protocols to test the spinal support muscles of the neck and lower back. Using this specific testing we aim to pinpoint which muscles are underworking and which muscles are overworking. Once we know this, it is a matter of working with you to reestablish the muscles’ optimal firing pattern.