Low Back Pain: Who Will Respond Best to Care?


woman with low back pain

People everywhere struggle with low back pain.  For some, it’s a fact of life, whether intermittent or continual.  It’s a problem shared by more than 3/4s of us, globally.

But low back pain isn’t something you should suffer in silence with.  If you believe there’s nothing that can be done to stop the pain, that’s where you’re wrong.  It’s what I do for a living, here at Back & Body Medical.  I support people with pain issues.

Every day, research uncovers new truths about the nature of pain and the most effective ways to treat it.  Let’s look at what a study conducted in 2011 tells us about low back pain and who will respond best to care.

What’s a directional preference?

The study sought to better understand the phenomenon of directional preference (DP) in patients experiencing pain.

DP refers to patient preference for movement in one direction over another.  Because moving an affected limb or the spine itself in one direction exacerbated pain, therapy built on DP was found to support patient pain relief.

The study also explored which patients were most likely to respond positively to a multi-disciplinarian approach versus more aggressive practices.

Study findings

Using the principle of working in the direction most comfortable for the patient, centralization was addressed (CEN, or localized pain).  Exercises which were painful for the patient were avoided with this methodology.

The study implicated 584 patients.  Of these, 60% had a directional preference and the same percentage experienced CEN.

DP patients were the most likely to respond positively to care which combined manipulation with a doctor-directed exercise plan.  Patients with no DP were less likely to respond positively to a similar plan of treatment.

Why it matters to me

The study has provided me with valuable information, as a chiropractor.  Knowing that a patient has one or both of a directional preference and pain centralization allows me to evaluate my methods in confrontation of probable patient response.

That’s valuable information to guide treatment plans and make decisions early on about how I’m going to treat a patient.  It saves the patient pain and expedites treatment and recovery.

And anything I can do to expedite the healing process and bring relief to my patients makes me a happy chiropractor!

Back & Body Medical

At Back & Body, we take low back pain seriously.  In fact, we treat all kinds of musculoskeletal pain.  My chiropractic care is supported by practitioners of acupuncture, sports medicine and physical therapy, creating a multi-disciplinarian team able to personalize care to the individual patient.

Combining therapies from a variety of disciplines is an exceptionally effective model that addresses the uniqueness of every human body.  We know it works.  Our outcomes here speak to that.

Our award-winning, diversified pain relief model has helped hundreds of patients find relief from grinding low back pain.  They come to us with a problem that’s impacting their ability to live their lives well and leave looking forward to a better quality of life.

Got pain? We’ve got answers!








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