Back pain diagnostic eclecticism is a curse to patients worldwide, since improper diagnosis leads to disappointing treatment outcomes.
Common back ache can be blamed on a huge variety of potential causes. Ask several healthcare providers for a diagnosis and you are sure to receive a variety of opinions and theories.
Theories? Should doctors be theorizing when it comes to a patient’s health? Facts would be a much better solution.
Unfortunately, medical science has very few facts when it comes to the everyday causes of common back pain syndromes. This is constantly demonstrated by the terrible cure rates offered by the various treatments used for these same diagnosed conditions.
Diagnostic eclecticism simply means that doctors can not agree on the exact cause of the pain. Ask several different doctors, or even the same doctor on several occasions, and you are likely to get varied responses as to what exactly is causing most common spinal pain syndromes.
This diagnostic variation is often in response to the virtually universal ineffectiveness of most medical back pain treatments.
I guess doctors feel that if multiple treatments fail, they can just change their minds and tell the patient a new story about what may be causing their pain. Enough tries and maybe they might just get it right.
Eventually, some do, if by chance alone.
Doctors are great are diagnosing. There are certainly no shortage of diagnosed conditions that are deemed responsible for causing pain.
Medicine concentrates on the physical causes, such as disk problems, bone problems and soft tissue problems. These conditions can cause back pain, but will usually respond well to treatment. Patients with these physical causes are extremely lucky, since they have been correctly diagnosed with a treatable type of symptoms.
The majority of all patients do not get better. In fact, most get worse and worse and eventually acquiesce to some form of drastic treatment.
Back surgery is the most common of these final solutions. These are the legions of lost souls who suffer with pain everyday. There is no help from medical science because medicine has misdiagnosed their true back pain problem.
Some suffer from diseases or undiscovered structural pain mechanisms elsewhere in the anatomy. However, a psychological causation may also be the true reason for some cases of unresolved back pain. These millions of patients are stuck in limbo. They are not any better from treatment, but are stuck in an ongoing regimen of care with no hope for an actual cure. It is a sad state to be sure.
Most doctors and patients alike believe that back pain is caused by one of 2 common scenarios: injury or degenerative process.
Back injury can indeed cause pain. The majority of all back injuries affect the muscles and soft tissues of the dorsal region. These injuries can be very agonizing, but will usually heal in a matter of weeks, even with no treatment at all. Serious spinal injuries can rarely lead to lifelong pain conditions, but these events are very rare and account for only a tiny percentage of all chronic pain complaints. The most common injury that keeps a patient in treatment is a herniated disc. Disc injuries can be painful when they occur, but are extremely unlikely to account for years worth of chronic and acute pain. Most disc injuries will stabilize within a few weeks, with little or no treatment. Many are never symptomatic at all.
Degenerative processes account for huge numbers of miserable patients. The actual spinal degeneration rarely causes any pain, yet doctors commonly blame suffering on these scapegoat conditions everyday. Degenerated discs are universal in the population and are unfairly targeted as some abnormal and painful condition. Arthritis is a normal part of aging, yet is often illogically blamed for millions of cases of treatment resistant back pain.
The simple fact is that doctors really do not understand the complex interaction of the human mind and body. Back pain is often blamed on some coincidental physical condition that is usually completely innocent and asymptomatic. It is far easier to blame something that looks out of place then to go searching for some cause that is so well hidden.
Research has shown that many back pain conditions are indeed caused, contributed to or perpetuated by psychological and emotional issues. Until doctors learn to open their minds and their diagnostic abilities to include mind/body disorders, some patients are doomed to years worth of suffering. It is that simple.
Luckily, the tide is changing, with more and more traditional care providers now embracing mindbody diagnosis and treatment as part of their service offerings. There is simply too much proof of the involvement of the emotional self in general health and specific pain syndromes to ignore the truth any longer.
This is why so many doctors continue to get on-board with mindbody protocols for cancer, chronic pain, addiction and many other applications.
It is important to trust your doctor and believe in their diagnosis. Belief in the actual cause of the problem is crucial to the resolution of all symptoms during treatment. However, now that you better understand back pain diagnostic eclecticism:
If you have tried all the recommended treatments with no success...
If your doctor keeps finding new changes to explain therapy failure...
If your doctor can not answer the question: When will I get better?
If your doctor is unsure why treatment is not working or seems to be guessing as to the real cause of the pain...
It may be time to say goodbye to this doctor and find a better one.
Doctors must be accountable for their diagnoses. If they do not have it right, you will know it. You will not get better. One more week, month or year in treatment will not make a difference. The only way to a cure is proper diagnosis followed by proper treatment. If you are like most, then medicine will not be able to cure your chronic pain. It is a simple and true statistic.
Many patients avoid medical care and instead try knowledge therapy to better understand the real reasons why their pain never seems to fade.