This episode is entitled “5 things not to do if you want a stronger back”, and they include:

  • Don’t listen to amateurs / generalists
  • Do not rely on someone else to get a stronger back
  • Don’t ignore pain
  • Do not expect it to be painless
  • Don’t depend on hope to get a stronger back

Don’t listen to amateurs / generalists

If you consult Google, you will be at the mercy of generalists or people who think they know something about this topic. If you ask your great aunt Jemima or Bob, who’s had episodes of lower back pain throughout his life, you are consulting an amateur. Don’t do that. You can spend months, or even years making mistake after mistake. If you want a stronger back, do not listen to amateurs or generalists.

Do not rely on someone else to get a stronger back

Ultimately, this is about you. It’s your back, it’s your problem. We will help support you in getting better, but we don’t fix you. Even in the rare case where we can, as manual therapists, do something to you that dramatically improves your state. You come in feeling awful, I do something to you and you walk out thinking “oh, that’s brilliant, I feel so much better”. I haven’t really fixed you, I’ve just helped your body to adapt, adjust, and feel better. We relieve your pain, but that still means you’re on the edge of potentially having another episode. 60% of lower back pain sufferers have another episode within 12 months. That’s because they don’t change what they do. They’re relying on someone else to fix them. If you want a long-term solution and a stronger back, don’t rely on someone else to fix you.

Don’t ignore pain

Pain is there to teach you. It’s a hard task master and not very pleasant, at least in the short term. Long-term or recurrent pain isn’t really a very helpful teacher, it can be horrendous. But if you have recent onset pain, particularly if this is your first or second episode, it’s doing you a favor, saying “stop, don’t do that”. Don’t ignore it. Listen to it. If it says to you “every time you sit I’m going to give you a sore back”, be careful how you sit or don’t sit for so long.

Do not expect it to be painless

Don’t expect your journey to recovery to be painless. It’s important to accept that the journey to recovery will not be painless. Especially the first few weeks, maybe even months, you will still experience some pain, but so long as you’re going in the right direction then the trend of your pain is a downward one. Don’t worry about how you feel day-to-day, because there will be hourly ups and downs. You have to accept in the short term that there will be some pain.

Don’t depend on hope to get a stronger back

Hope will not get you there. It’s all well and good wishing to be a billionaire, but it’s not going to get you there. It’s not going to get you a stronger back ito just want a stronger back. Don’t depend on hope alone. Those who fail to plan, plan to fail. You might recover and pain might never come back again, but the statistics are against you. Make a plan and stick to it. A plan is only so good as your ability to stick to it.

If you’d like a free online assessment of lower back pain / sciatica, click the link.