Solving back pain is like solving a puzzle, where each piece represents part of the answer. Pieces are hiding across a universe of therapists, back pain sufferers, and scientific literature. “Taking ownership” means finding all these scattered pieces and putting them together.
But that may seem a daunting task. How qualified are you to take on that role? Doubts may creep into your mind. After all, most people are not medical doctors or physical therapists…
The truth is you are the one person on the planet who is the MOST qualified to lead the important mission of improving your back-wellness. No one will be more committed to overcoming your back pain than you. It’s your pain and your life. This alone gives you adequate wisdom and insight to take ownership of your own back pain recovery. And that’s regardless of whether you realise it or not. Essentially you are the expert on you. Nobody else, regardless of their educational credentials, is keener on seeing you improve than you.
Recovered back pain sufferer, Steve Brunskill, decided to take ownership of his back pain recovery. “I was determined to do ‘whatever it takes’. I also remained optimistic about what could be achieved. The first thing I did was go private to have a ‘standing MRI’ done.” Read his story, Getting out of back pain hell. How Steve took responsibility and developed an empowering mind-set.
Recognising that you are qualified to lead the task of collecting the pieces of the puzzle, is the first part of “taking ownership”. The next step is then to actively look for those “pieces”. In other words, look for interventions that will uniquely make a difference to you. Underlying back pain causes and contributing factors vary a lot. So, what works for one person may not work for another.
As Richard Moore, Osteopath and founder of Moore Osteopathy, Nottingham, UK puts it, “People often don’t understand how individual back pain is. They may say something like ‘Paul at work had back pain. I tried the stretches that help him, but I’m not better’. My response is, ‘You are not Paul!’ Different causes and issues altogether. People think back pain is back pain, but it’s not.”
Even so, the experience of other back pain sufferers may give you an idea of what might work in your specific case. So, when looking for things to try out next, the experience of others is one important source of inspiration and hope. Trusted experts, who have made a proven difference to other back pain sufferers, are equally sources of inspiration. No matter where the puzzle pieces are hiding, it is your role to actively seek out those insights. Then you need to safely test whether a particular intervention is right for you. See the article, How to discover your own back pain solutions and claim your life back!
Many believe in the “myth of the experts”, i.e. they have studied stuff and must, thus, have all the answers. The best experts are, no doubt, very knowledgeable and most likely will become a part of your recovery process. But, they couldn’t possibly have a ready-made solution that’s right for everyone. The variability in causes and contributing factors is simply too great. Instead think of experts as facilitators helping you to find more pieces of your back pain puzzle quicker.
The last aspect of “taking ownership” is the willingness to change your lifestyle. For example, a sedentary lifestyle, with resulting muscle imbalances, may be part of the pieces in your “back pain puzzle”. If so, failing to make sustainable changes in how you live your life will sabotage your recovery efforts.
Changing your lifestyle takes effort and persistence. We may be talking about changing habits that have become entrenched over a lifetime. However, the more enjoyable you can make the new empowering habits, the more likely they are to become embedded. Injecting a sense of joy makes sustainable lifestyle changes as effortless as possible.
Steve was reluctant to give up tennis, which he loved. “Tennis worsened my back pain and my chiropractor had encouraged me to give it up. I hesitated for 6 months, then eventually gave in. But I found a new passion, golf, and now have absolutely no regrets giving up tennis.” Read, Getting out of back pain hell. How Steve took responsibility and developed an empowering mind-set.
- You are qualified to take ownership of your own recovery process!
- Proactively seek out effective interventions – don’t wait for anyone to hand you “the solution”.
- Change your lifestyle in a sustainable way.
If you are suffering from back pain, why not discover your own back pain solutions and claim your life back?
If you have already made a lot of progress, or become pain free, why not inspire others by sharing your story?
If someone you know suffers from back pain, why not send them a link to this article by using the email share button below?