When we sustain an injury (particularly spinal injuries such as disc bulges or facet pain), the road to recovery process varies significantly for each individual.
Many of us see our GP or other health professional first to help get a diagnosis of what can be causing our pain. More recently, conservative (non-surgical) treatment is becoming the first line of treatment for many spinal injuries. Conservative treatment is highly evidence-based, proven to be effective, and is overall less risky than surgical options.
However, some individuals can tend to get frustrated with how long the conservative approach can take, particularly if their pain levels don’t improve significantly in the first 1-3 weeks/sessions. Flare ups are also common in the recovery process, which again can be frustrating for the person being treated.
It is very important to remember (for both patients and health practitioners) – the road to recovery is not exactly linear! There can be twists and turns on the way, increases and decreases in pain and symptoms on a week to week basis. What we all should be focusing on is the big picture. Even though someone may have had 6 back pain flare ups over the last 3 months, if their pain has gradually improved over that 3 month period, that is still a success!
It is also important to note that people who have had pain for months to years, will often have to work hard for months to years to fully reduce their pain. However, success can also be measured via a reduction in: frequency of flare ups, duration of flare ups, and intensity of flare ups.
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