My doc said I just have to live with back pain (FAIL)

low back pain doctor pottsville orwigsburg
"Nope, my clipboard here says you have to live with it."



Recently, a patient sent me a letter asking about care at our office. He said that he went to his family doctor and a spine specialist, and both said, “you just have to live with it”. I disagree as he hasn’t even tried specific spinal rehab for this problem. Since this is a very common occurrence (both back pain and ignorant doctors), I thought I’d post my reply to his letter here. I don’t know how many people I come across in public that find out I’m a chiropractor and say something like, “I have back pain, but it can’t be fixed (or it’s arthritis, or I have a disc herniation, or I have…)”. In almost all cases, people can benefit from the type of care we provide. No, we can’t fix the disc herniation, but we can strengthen the spine around it to prevent it from getting worse (and it may even help decrease pain).

Let me summarize the above. I don’t care what your doctor tells you about your back pain. They don’t deal with it on a daily basis. They are not experts in non-surgical spinal care. If you haven’t seen me or tried specific spinal rehab and manual therapy, you owe it to yourself to see if it can help.


Dear Mr. Lumbar

I read your letter. Just a few impressions…. I don’t think you have to just live with this issue. There are a few strategies that we can use to strengthen the low back and core region. It will involve specific exercises that I can teach you in the office, send you home for a week or two at a time to do consistently on a daily basis, then follow up with further instruction. There’s no easy answer for something like this, and it will be a little bit of a process. By that I mean I would need to work with you over the course of a few months as we progress from one exercise or strategy to the next. That won’t mean I’ll be seeing you every week during that time, but maybe 6-8 visits over those few months. With a back issue such as this, 80% of what is going to help is going to be on you.

I see this situation occur frequently, and again, there is hope. But, it’s going to take the mindset that working on your exercises is a priority every single day. I see the people that commit and the people that do not, and there is a significant difference between the two groups.

Issues like this are the most difficult type of issues for conventional medicine to treat. Physically, everything is intact. There’s nothing that they see the need to doing anything surgically. So, they just think, “that’s the way it is”. We know you’re physically/structurally intact because you have good days. BUT, on occasion your back doesn’t function well and there’s a breakdown. This causes a “buckling” or shifting of the spine, causes a pinching of structures (nerves, tendons, muscles), and then it goes into spasm to prevent further injury. It’s your body’s reaction to the shift that causes you more pain than the shift itself.

In regards to the spinal manipulation (he felt a little sore after treatment), we can go about that a slightly different way or not at all. Sometimes there is soreness as we breakdown scar tissue and tightness around the joints. Sometimes it just aggravates the situation. I usually gauge the response from visit to visit and modify or remove the procedure if it’s not going in the right direction.


If you have low back pain and were told just to live with it, give me a call. I’d like the chance to prove them wrong, and I’d love the chance to help you get out of pain or decrease your pain and have a higher quality of life.

Call 570-366-2613 to set up an appointment at my office in Orwigsburg, Schuylkill County.

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