What is back pain? The answer is incredibly personal to each affected patient, but as someone who knows well the ravages of dorsalgia, I feel like I may be able to answer the query for many of you.
One thing is for sure, back pain is an epidemic problem in our healthcare system, with diagnosis of a great number of structural conditions growing every year. This results in literal armies of disabled, and partially disabled people, who have no choice but to suffer under what usually amounts to sub-par and unenlightened care.
This composition helps to define the misery that is back pain and put a personal face on the typical chronic back pain patient.
To me, back pain represents the sum of my greatest fears in life. As a person who has almost always worked for themselves, I have always been fearful of anything happening to my ability to earn money in order to support my family.
Chronic pain involves tremendous fear, especially of an unknown future. This terror is just as bad as the pain itself, especially for families who completely depend on a primary earner who is afflicted with this plague of agony.
As a person who is perfectionistic, self-motivated and always striving towards success, I have a tendency to place huge stress on myself. These traits certainly have negative effects on my pain, since stress is a known exacerbator of any health issue.
Finally, as a person who has been tortured by back pain from a young age, I surely know the misery the symptoms can cause in the mind, body and spirit. Back ache affects far more than just the back. It gets into the soul and can actually erase the joy of life. I have complete empathy for the combination of sufferings endured by all of you, since it is my reality, as well.
I do not know you. However, I am sure that I can tell you a bit about yourself. You are in pain. The pain has been there for a long time and does not seem to respond to the diverse variety of treatments you have attempted.
You have a diagnosis, but none of your doctors or chiropractors can cure you. Sometimes, the treatments help, sometimes they don’t and occasionally, they seem to make things worse. However, the pain always comes back soon after even the best treatment sessions.
You are incredibly frustrated and fearful, since the anatomical abnormalities in your spine are constant sources of worry. You are not sure how long you can take the pain and wonder what will become of you in the future. If you are married, things are worse. If you have children, things are worse still.
You find yourself looking into the mirror and asking,
“What has become of my promising life?”
Furthermore, you ask in fear,
"What does the future hold for me, with such a bad back?"
Back pain is a nightmare; plain and simple. It is a debilitating condition, unlike any other. It is also the single most misdiagnosed health issue in the world today.
Back pain has long been blamed on the full range of spinal conditions, which are now proven to be normal parts of the aging process, for all of us. Modern research shows no correlation between the existence of degenerated spinal structures and the incidence of chronic pain, yet the diagnostic idiocy continues, unchecked.
Of course, injury, and perceived injury, also take a fair share of blame for acute pain, but why do these injuries not heal?
Why does the pain almost always become chronic?
This is where I can answer the back pain question better than virtually anyone else:
Back pain? It is a completely misunderstood mindbody disorder in the vast majority of diagnosed patients.
Sometimes, a purely structural issue is to blame, but it may not be the condition diagnosed as the potential cause. After all, if the diagnosis was right, then targeted therapy would resolve the pain.
In other patients, there is a disease process which is actually enacting the pain, yet remains undiscovered, being that the medical sector has become so unbelievably over-compartmentalized. To simplify this thought, specialists often overlook even the most obvious systemic health issues, since they are so focused on the area affected by the actual pain. They literally can not see the forest for the trees.
In the many of the rest of the countless millions of suffering patients, back pain is literally something they can be rid of at any time, by simply shifting their perception of the disorder and relating it to its actual source: Psychoemotional issues. This is the most neglected type of pain, being completely ignored by the medical establishment for one very sinister reason.
Treatment of a mindbody health issue does not bring in money for physicians, so they simply deny its existence and sweep it under the rug.
Unfortunately, this also means the lives of hundreds of millions of people are also swept under the proverbial rug along with it.
Ask an average doctor, "What is back pain?" and they will tell you it is the best way to make vast sums of money, without ever having to provide any effective treatment at all. A terrible joke, at our expense.