Final notes on chronic back pain

Your brain is your best asset to combating chronic back pain

Think about your back pain as coming from microscopic nerves or sensors that are stimulated when muscles become too stiff, weak, or unable to function, and attached to an amplifier magnifying the intensity of such an alarm. Your best asset is to use your brain to try to turn down the amplifier and understand that the loudness of the signal is not a reflection of the severity of the pain.

Your health care provider is there to help you manage your chronic back pain

Health care providers must clarify misperceptions about back pain and guide patients toward effective active management of their symptoms. Educating patients and their families about back pain is not easy, but we feel it is our duty to

  • Restore patients’ ability to go back to work
  • Restore individual self-esteem

We understand that much of this information may be confusing or contradictory to what you have been told by other respected health care professionals. This revelation might also be upsetting. We understand this and treat all patients with respect while having this conversation. We assume you are here for our professional advice and are open to considering our treatment recommendations. We understand that some patients may not believe this approach will work for them. For those patients who continue to fail to understand or hold other beliefs or expectations of their pain, unfortunately we may not have any further treatment recommendations. 

We hope to give you the confidence to take control of your back pain

We hope that by reading, studying, and understanding this material, you will become more empowered and educated. This will help you ask questions of your health-care providers and challenge them to explain to you what they are going to do to help you. Be sure to remember how important your role is in controlling your muscles, responding to your pain receptors, and deciding how you can help yourself. We believe that patients are best served when they and their health care team share in the decision-making process and agree upon treating pain in a collaborative manner.

There is no perfect way for you to manage your chronic pain. We have developed this guide to present a clear explanation for chronic back pain and show how you can use scientifically proven, safe advice to manage this frustrating condition.

Last reviewed: 
April 2018

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