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How do I reduce back pain?

It has to be one of the most searched health topics on Google: “How do I reduce back pain?” So many people are afflicted by back pain everyday. Some are in the throes of an acute episode that just started. Some have been dealing with it in some form or another for years. I want to talk about some steps you can take to help take the edge off, whether your pain is acute (recent onset) or chronic (greater than 3 months).

Manual therapy won’t save you.

Part 2: People are not cars.

In our previous post, we discussed why manual therapy might not be as specific or effective as you think. If you missed it, take a look here. Now let’s shine a light on the ways manual therapy can positively impact progress in a course of PT rehabilitation.

Manual therapy won’t save you.

Part 1: Manual therapists are not car mechanics.

Manual therapy can’t fix your joints and tissues. At least not in the direct, mechanical ways you might expect. A lot of people who show up to physical therapy think the purpose of manual therapy is to fix something structural: Reposition a joint that’s out of place. Correct asymmetries by moving body parts into optimal alignment. Break up adhesions between layers of soft tissue. Like dropping the car off at the mechanic, there’s a notion that we can drop off our bodies at a manual therapist’s office to get all fixed up.

How do we explain pain that comes and goes?

We have known for decades now that pain is a very complex thing. Pain can emerge with or without corresponding tissue damage. When there is tissue damage, pain is usually not very well correlated with the extent of the damage.