BPS #034: Why The Lumbago Diagnosis Is A Hoax…


Hey guys, this is Robin Wakeham from the Back Pain Secrets podcast and today I want to talk about why the Lumbago diagnosis is a hoax.


To give you guys a bit of the backstory here regarding the diagnosis Lombardo, I had a patient a few weeks back, named Tony. We can call him, told him that’s not his three lane. Tony Works as a firefighter and had been doing this for almost 20 years now and his big thing in life is that he loves to save people.. Which is very noble of him.


He has three kids, three little girls at home. He’s married, he’s around 40, 42 43 years old and he’s been doing this firefighting stuff for all those 20 years growing up, he was very active. He was a soccer goalie on a very high level. He’s into mountain biking now and he’s training quite a lot with his buddies at the firefighter establishment.


Anyway, he’d been suffering from back pain, lower back pain for almost eight to 10 years on and off. Specifically, it was locally on his lower back and he didn’t have so much radiation down his leg. And then one day when he was doing this training with, the firefighter buddies, they were climbing up this ladder. As way up there, you know, I don’t know how many meters, but it’s a very high ladder and they need to have like this big hose on their shoulder and they run up and down to train.


So in the middle of the ladder, he actually had pain in his back that went out big time. And he dropped the hose and fell backwards. He had quite a fall down, but then for some reason he got hooked up onto his suit or something and that saved him.


But what happened when he came down was that he couldn’t feel his right leg. His right leg was just all numb. He had like shooting pain, And his leg, he was very weak in the leg. So he went up to the hospital. They gave, gave him some painkillers. He went home, he had a few days off from work and he’s paid but the pain from his back was just killing him


So he started to call around. At first he visited his chiropractor and the chiropractor like checked him out and he told him, you have Lumbago and you have the diagnosis. Lumbago as per Google told me it’s going to be good in a few weeks. Come just keep taking the painkillers and take it easy, and so he went to the physio, same diagnosis, Lumbago . And, they told him basically the same stuff, but the pain didn’t go away.


It just continued to get worse. So he visited an orthopedic surgeon and the orthopedic surgeon also did in the examination, gave him some painkillers again and told him, you have
Lumbago . Just, keep on moving buddy. So by this time, Tony has been in pain for about a month or almost two months and he had the diagnosis Lumbago but he’d still didn’t know what this meant.


He was very frustrated. So he went online to look it up and he couldn’t really find a term for it, you know, it was so general. This was about this time that, that Tony showed up in my office. So we came up there and he was kind of pissed off from the beginning, you know, because he was struggling here. He had this external pain he was struggling against. Him as a man he’d been dependent on his body his whole life.


He was strong – the strong guy that could do anything and now he was feeding very vulnerable. Also, he wanted to be able to provide for his family. He had the three girls at home and his wife. At the moment he wasn’t able to perform. So we had this internal and external problem. The external stuff that was in pain, but the internal part was the fear that he might not be able to work as a firefighter.


He came to my office here and he sat down and first off he’s talking me, “Don’t tell me. I have this goddamned Lumbago diagnosis again.. I’ve been walking around, everyone is telling me I have Lumbago , but what the hell is Lumbago ?


We’ll Lumbago is an umbrella term for back pain. And it can be anything from a strain in the back to a tumor in the back.


It’s very, frustrating as a patient. If you’re walking around and you’re getting this diagnosis, Lumbago , but it’s not really giving you anything. So why do we back pain experts give you the diagnosis Lumbago.


Well it can be for many reasons. The two obvious reasons are number one, we don’t really know what the hell you have in your back. We don’t have a clue about it. So what we do, just to give you a diagnosis, we tell you, you have Lumbago and then you at least have a diagnosis. But it is very general.

Diagnosis can be anything. And number two, the second reason is that the person that’s treating you haven’t really checked you out thoroughly.They haven’t done a good job of doing that. And as I said, I’m not pointing fingers.


I don’t want to create hate made from any of your other therapists out there. I know there’s quite a few diagnosis. People come in with back pain and a lot of times we have a thought or we know what it is, but we’re not 100% sure. I get that. The thing is that what I’m getting is if we leave the patient that way, we say you have a Lumbago and we don’t really explain the different things we think it could be so we leave the, patient very anxious and they feel fear and that increases their pain.


So what would be first off now for Tony and this specific situation? First off, I explained what Lombago was and that we don’t really know what that term means as it can be many other things.


Second off, I contacted his doctor when we we’re getting an MRI scan on his lower back. And that actually came back a month ago. And it, it said that he had this slip disc in two places. thousand hair had been slipped to push forward like five or six millimeters and that was pressing on the nerves or here. That was the reason why he was in pain.


So based on that information, I would put him on a training program to try to, increase his core strength and all of that stuff. We also got him to change position at work and he did some different work at the fire department over a period of time. So he didn’t need to be on the ladder that much and going at rescuing people. Only if he comes back to 100% being physically fit to work as a fireman and save people.


I don’t know at this moment, but the main reason why I’m bringing this up is that at least we had a diagnosis for him. He had an understanding why he was in pain and he took some actions and training wise, but also with his work stuff. So he’s feeling better now. He’s not 100% and he’s still a bit irritated because he can’t do the stuff with his body that he wants to do, but at least he knows why he is in pain. And we have a plan for him.


So that’s really what I’m getting at here guys. If you know , someone who went to see a therapist and they tell you you have the Lumbago diagnosis, I mean, it’s not the end of the world. First off, just ask the person, hey, could you give me a few tips? What could it be? Could you be more specific?


And if that person can’t help you, just visit someone else and write down your questions and be very specific. If they can can explain more exactly what they think you have.


That’s about it for today guys. Take care. I love you and I’ll talk to you tomorrow. And guys, remember you’re just one step away from healing your back pain.

Related Posts

28 Jul , 2018

BPS 20: Symptoms and Diagnosis of Spinal Stenosis

22 Mar , 2019

BPS #022: How The Bed Business Rips Back Pain Sufferers Off Because You´re Desperate…

28 Jul , 2018

BPS 22: What you Need to Know about Lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD)?

15 Aug , 2019

BPS #058 Is Massage Good For Sciatica

Robin BackPainExpert

Physiotherapists & Back Pain Expert

Twenty years ago I was lucky to survive a serious hockey injury. In a sport where big men zoomaround on hard ice and solid wood sticks are slung furiously, a difficult back injury is what every player fears.
It took a long time for me to climb back to a normal life. But when I did, I was determined to spend the rest of his life helping back pain victims everywhere.
As a physiotherapist and back pain expert I have treated thousands of patients over 20 years, built a respected back pain clinic, created the site BackPainSecrets.Com and authored the book “Back Pain Secrets.”
Learn more about me here.