BPS #036: Patient Visited Same Physiotherapist Once A Week For 20 Years Without Reducing Here Back Pain…

Hey guys, this is Robin Wakeham from the Back Pain Secrets podcast and today I want to talk about why you need to stop doing stuff that isn’t working for you in your life. This aspect goes on all areas in your life, but specifically back pain because this show is about back pain.


So to give you a bit of background, uh, I’ve been a physiotherapist for 20 years now, 25 years back. I injured my back in playing ice hockey for three years. I was struggling daily with pain. A big back pain in my back radiating down my leg. I was depressed, I was on painkillers at one point. It got so bad. I even like, I didn’t really want to live, it’s horrible. I can hang out with my friends and I couldn’t do activities. I was home watching TV for a very long period in my life.


So I know if you’re struggling right now with your back pain, I know what you’re going through, buddy. I definitely do. So a true story, about six months back, I had this little sweet old lady, we can call it greater greener, who was a librarian working as a librarian for almost 30 years. She was about 66 years old.


So she came into my office and I asked her, hey, what’s up? You know, where your pain is? And she said, in my lower back,. And she said, well, “I’ve been struggling with back pain for almost 20 years now.”


And I asked her, what are you doing about it? Who are you seeing, what exercise are you doing? What medications are you taking? And she told me, “Well, I’ve really just seen two people and I’ve been seeing the same two people for 20 years.”


I said, “What are you talking about, Brita for 20 years?The same two people and, and you’re not feeling better?”


What I say, if you’re not getting better get out, first off, who are you visiting? Well, as you have said this physiotherapist. And she had been visiting him for for almost 20 years now, like regularly, once a week or every second of the week. And then she had a doctor that she visited like once a month. The same people for 20 years. Isn’t that nuts?


And I said, “What are you getting better for? Well, why do you keep on going?” Then she said, “Well, I don’t really want to let them down, right?If I’m feeling bad, they try their best.” But I say, “Well, yes, but they are there for you. You shouldn’t be there for them. You’re paying them good money to go there.”


It’s not enough of a great app to go there and have a nice chat if they’re not delivering, they’ve had their time 20 years out for Christ’s sakes, woman. We had a bit of a laugh about it, but, she saw the irony in it, and I told her, “You’ve been in pain for 20 years, so don’t expect any miracles. Don’t expect that I’m going to be able to heal all your back pain.


The only thing I can really give you my friend is I’m going to make sure that you get the examinations and we’ll go through the steps you need to go through. So we can take a decision if you should even continue, go to a physiotherapist or any other therapists. Maybe you have a terminal condition greater that does not going to be helped with therapy.


You’re just gonna need to learn to live with the pain. As horrible as that sounds. At least you know why you are in pain. Do you know why you are in pain right now, Gretta?


She said “No, I don’t have a clue.” So, okay. First off, I examined her back. I sent her for an MRI scan. We’ve got our on some lighter exercises., I got her in the pool like, like a water aerobics for elderly people. She enjoyed that. So the MRI scan came back a few weeks back or a month, something like that. And it was very clear. She has a diagnosis called spinal stenosis. Spinal stenosis. Is that, is it a diagnosis in your back? Where basically your nerves get pressed, And so you have pain and you have problem walking longer distances and you have a tendency, you want to bend over to open up the space so the nerves can breathe again.


Basic, very easy. A summation of spinal stenosis. So I said, great. This is the reason why you are in pain, my friend and you’ve been in back pain for almost 20 years now. So it doesn’t really matter if you come here, okay, I’m not going to be able to help you or reduce your pain.


What we need to do or you need to do, is that you need to to keep doing the water aerobics. And you need to check your,, ergonomics around your desk or your job. And you might need to, to get some other, things to do at work. You can’t be doing like a lot of lifting all the books all the time. We need to switch that around and you’re going to get, or buy a tense machine. Tends machine, it looks like this. Basically.


Put that on your back for 20 to 25 minutes at night. And you might visit me or someone else like every six months to get an update. You don’t need to visit the physiotherapist every week. You don’t need to visit the doctor for back pain every month, okay? They’re not going to be able to help you. You don’t need to visit me.

So she, she looked kind of shocked at me and said, well it makes sense. And I said, well, great and just imagine it. That all the time that you spent on this. But you could’ve been spending on something else. Done something else. And I see a lot of patients that are doing this, they’re just doing the same stuff from habit day in, day out is not working for them. They don’t really want to do it, but they’re doing it because they don’t have the courage or the knowledge or just to get go to, just to change.


If you are in back pain and you’ve been visiting the same people for a six to 10 to 12 months, it’s not working. Change. If you are in a relationship that’s not working and you’re trying to go to like a therapy and you’ve been doing it for years and you’re just miserable and nothing is working, you might want to change it up.


If you’re in a job that’s horrible, okay? It job that’s not working out for you, you feel stressed, you’re not appreciatated. Uh, you know, change. Life is too short, guys and all of this stress, when you’re not like, doing the stuff you want to do, that’s also something that creates, creates a lot of stress in your life and it goes to your back.


Sorry for the rant guys. But this shit just gets me going. I see so many people. I’ve been struggling with this myself, So I understand where you’re coming from, but you need to make a switch in your life! guys, take care.


I love you. I’ll talk to you tomorrow. And guys, remember, you’re just one step away from healing your back pain. Bye Bye.

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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.