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Where did my back pain go?

Updated on January 24, 2014

It's now in my neck!


Where did my back pain go?


This is quite a common cry of people who have suffered back pain for some time and then is disappears. The pain often seems to disappear after another trauma.


For instance, if you were suffering from low back pain for a long period of time it may then start to travel down your leg. This may be associated with pins and needles. Due to the pain in your back you may then start to walk with a limp.  This limp has already changed the way that you walk. Rather than walking with your weight evenly distributed the weight is now placed more on one side.


This change in biomechanics can set you up for all sorts of further complaints. As you are now standing differently, you will automatically hold your body differently.  Other parts of you will compensate for your lack of mobility in the bottom part of your spine.  You may find that your neck and shoulders become stiff. You might find that you wake up one morning with a stiff neck unable to move it.  Your initial reaction may be that you would like to get your neck sorted. This of course would be true, however your practitioner when looking at your posture would also determine that a lot of your problem is actually stemming for your low back rather than your neck. It may be that in your particular case that your neck and lower back needs intervention to gain the best outcome.


Another common scenario for “loosing your back pain” might be that you injure another part of your body.  Let’s say you originally had back pain and some sciatica, because of your altered gait (you are leaning away from the pain) you fall and sprain your ankle.  Of course now your ankle hurts.  Both you back and your ankle may hurt of course, or perhaps it is only your ankle that hurts and your back pain has disappeared.  Where did it go? Am I fixed?


It is unlikely that by spraining your ankle you have fixed your back. The body is compensating, trying to protect you from further damage. If the ankle is the most recent injured part the body’s reaction is to try to prevent further harm. The ankle becomes painful as a warning sign that something has gone wrong, look after it and treat it with care. It is likely that when the ankle has subsided the back pain will return, possibly worse than before.


Back pain may come and go, however without proper intervention it is likely that each episode will be worse than the last. Without rehabilitating it back to its normal status the injury will remain, waiting to flare up when it is least expected.


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