Back pain- better approaches


Effective management of back pain is identified as a major opportunity for improvement in our health care system. Just about everyone has a bout of back pain in their life, but if you are unfortunate to have imaging done before it resolves (which it usually does with time), acting upon the inevitable “findings” of high tech imaging can lead to more and more problems - harm by healthcare! This article in the Washington Post outlines the danger of imaging. As with every new diagnostic technology, it is important not only to define what is abnormal vs normal, but what is important. What are the findings that if acted upon actually improve health care outcomes? Rather than an “easy” test, pushing through pain with specific exercises can make a world of difference. (PERSONALLY, this has been huge for me! - that’s another story) So if a sophisticated diagnostic test is offered for your condition, ask, What are we looking for exactly? What is the evidence that treating this will help me? What are my options? Back pain is one of the most common risks for over testing, but there are many more examples.