In this excerpt, Jesse Connone shares on treating the symptoms of back pain versus fixing the problem.
The Fountain of Youth World Summit with Jesse Connone co-founder of the Healthy Back Institute.
Jesse: Again the first mistake was not dealing with it again at the very beginning. The second mistake kind of thighs into my last point is not addressing the underlying cause.
Jesse: And that probably is the biggest one. And most people don't know enough about their body and how their body works which is unfortunate. And is something that I am always working on to try to educate people and also try to change the system. You should learn about your body. You know as a child, and not that the basic stuff that teach and health classes now. I think you should know a lot about your body and how it works. And to me it's far more important than me learning trigonometry.
Jesse: You know something that I am not going to use. But I am going to use my body everyday. I am going to have problems as I live my life, I should know how my body works.
Jesse: And so that's one kind of problem, is people don't know enough about their body. And so when they go in, they go in with back, they go see a doctor or they go and work with a chiropractor or physical therapist. They don't know enough about it. And so they assume that the doctor or chiropractor or therapist is the expert. So they listen to just what they have to say which makes sense. But the problem is most chiropractors, doctors or therapists don't talk about this. They don't talk about muscle balances. Again we get to call what is the hidden cause because nobody talks about it. And anybody listening to this if you have back pain. I challenge you to go to your doctor and ask them about muscle imbalances. Just even ask them what muscle imbalances are? A lot of them can't even answer the question. So that's enough the problem. So their main focus is treating the symptoms.
Jesse: You know, and when you treat the symptoms, yes, you may get relief. But you didn't fix the problem. So its going to come back, it's just a matter of time, so that's mistake number two is not addressing the underline cause and just treating the symptoms.
Kevin: How many times you have heard. I had a back surgery and now I need another one.
Jesse: I can give you dozens if not hundreds of actual case studies of customers and clients of ours who have multiple back surgeries! And actually I can share with you a really close personal story of an actual friend of my wife's. She was a career firefighter, injured on a job in a fire. Hurt her back went in for a surgery because they told her you absolutely have to have a surgery. Of course you listen to the experts they know better than you do so they actually had her surgery and she came out feeling slightly better but within several days she had a pain in a new place. The pain has subsided a little bit where she had before but now it had moved, its new pain, in another spot, so after couple of months of therapy and since were of course if no surprise that the therapy they did, didn't work because there therapy is all about treating the symptoms.
Jesse: So long story short. She goes through series of five surgeries over the course of like eight years. Eight or ten years you know the timeframe but five surgeries and this last one, she came out and she couldn't feel her leg. And now it's going on two years later and she is still can't feel her leg.
Kevin: Her entire leg?
Jesse: I think she has minor feeling up in the high area of gluon and thigh. But pretty much from the thigh down she can't feel it. And she drags it and she has to use a walking stick basically like a cane.
Jesse: She is in her forties, I think she is mom of three. I believe she had three children and yeah, she can't feel her leg. And she still has back pain and so there is ton's of stories and I can literally bring up dozens if not hundreds of stories like that from all over the world, people who had surgeries. And actually more and more of research is being done in this field about back surgeries and not really funny. But it's funny in the sense that you know how the traditional medical community always comes up with some fancy name and so . . . Because back surgery is failed so much, they now have a term failed back surgery syndrome.
Kevin: No kidding.
Jesse: No yeah! And actually study, a couple of studies that I have looked at recently has shown that 60% of the back surgeries fail on an average. 60%
Kevin: Criteria for failure is surgery again or..?
Jesse: Oh yeah! The criteria is to, they still have pain afterwards. So 60% of people who go in for back pain come out with same pain or new pain. And the number is worst on repeat surgeries. I don't know, I don't have information from anybody but I know it's even worse.
Jesse: For people who had multiple surgeries, actually we just talked about.
Kevin: What is some of the symptom treatment that are around that you seem to, that don't serve to people as well and some of the other things?
Jesse: O.k. Yeah! Why don't we talk a little about some of the common treatments?
Jesse: Why I think they don't work? Or why they think they prove it will not work. And some of the things that work a little bit better.
Jesse: Let's go in order of the way things happen typically for someone who has back pain. Again I shovel snow, I sneeze, I cough or whatever. I hurt my back I go to a doctor. Almost always the doctor is going to write a prescription first thing. Again, sometimes they are going to refer you and typically going to ask you to rest. Which research has proven is the worst thing you can do.
Jesse: You don't want the rest because you rest you allow your body to stiffen up even more, get blood flow decreases and your body has a harder time healing and the muscles get weaker. As you were aware of so they tell you to rest which you don't want to. They give you a drug which is certainly not going to get rid of the problem. Your back pain is a physical problem. It's not in your head and it's not something, it's just the pain you feel. It's a physical problem. And so while your head, you're thought your feeling and your emotions are effect your pain that alone are not going to fix the problem. Neither is a drug.
Jesse: So you got to deal with the physical aspect of the problem as well. And actually well I will say definitely later. That's what happens you go and you get a prescription, you told to rest. Maybe they will send you over to physical therapy, maybe they will do x-rays and MRI's but say that they do x-ray and MRI, is like you got a bulging disc. Let's send you to physical therapy. It's not that bad. It's not that bad, let's send you to physical therapy and see and get rid of the pain that way further rather than have surgery right away. And so you go and you do your six weeks of physical therapy until your insurance runs out. The therapy will include hot packs.
Jesse: Ice maybe.
Jesse: Electrical simulations .
Kevin: Been there. [Laugh]
Jesse: Ultrasound, maybe if you are going to orthopedic surgeon, since there is no other name for them. Orthopedic surgeon. . for treating you get a Cortizone injection. And again more drugs you know anti-flammatory drugs. Maybe your physical therapy will also do some stretches with you, they will also do some exercise. They will have you do some basic exercise that to get on the sheet. I think maybe you and I talked about in the past. Most people will leave from their doctor's office. Their therapist office or maybe their chiropractor's office with the same sheet of exercises.
Jesse: You know they got the angry cat. Stretch, they got beneath the chest. They got sideline your knees thing, your side stretch. Everybody get the same five, six, seven, eight stretches or exercises on a sheet of paper regardless of their situation. That alone right there should tell you something is wrong.
Jesse: Because everybody situation is different. How can these exercises and stretches be right for you, me and everybody else who has back pain?
Jesse: And, so that's another part of the problem. But really the biggest part of the problem is when you go that doctor instead of writing a prescription. Instead of telling you go home and rest, instead maybe if you are going back multiple times now, maybe because you had recurring balance of pain. And they start to think that you are making it up. And you know that's very common much more common that I would ever have imagined?
Jesse: Yeah! Yeah we have a probably thousands of people that we work with who had pain and recurring types of pain. They are told by these healthcare professionals. Maybe it's all in their head.
Jesse: I mean, it's very disturbing and of course the person with the pain who has been living this way for years, you know is very upset. And then they feel really hopeless. At this point the people who are suppose to really help them aren't helping them and now they are actually turning them around and making them feel like it up.
Jesse: And that's one of the reasons depression is so common in people with back pain is one of the reasons we spend so much time working with people not just on the physical but on the mental and emotional aspects of it as well.
Kevin: I think that I really like that approach that Back pain is somewhat emotional as well. I mean can explain that a little bit.
Jesse: Yeah actually we have a concept that we call complete healing formula and basically what that is really you know a long detail thing but quick summary is again back pain is a physical problem. So you got to address the physical. What's going on structurally in your body? Muscle bone, ligaments, joints. What's happening there. You know that's costing pain. You also have the mental and emotional impact. You know your thoughts feelings and emotions affect how you feel physically and how your body can heal.
Jesse: So lots of studies have shown now people who are negative thinkers and always stressed out let a tiny little thing get to them. They have a much harder time healing and recovering from injury and illness. And not just with back pain, this is with all just diseases and illnesses. Cancer strokes, heart it attacks everything.