Sophie has recurring pain in her back, neck & shoulders

December 9, 2015

Hi there,

I have had a series of recurring issues with my back, neck and shoulder over the last year. I think a lot of it is down to carrying heavy boxes and suitcases as well as being exposed to a lot of stress in the work environment.

I have been seeing a chiropractor for the past year which has really helped my neck and shoulder pain but I now have a bigger problem. My pain and discomfort has moved from my neck and shoulder to my lower back, specifically the left hand side. I have a constant pain there which also runs down through my buttock and down to my calf.

10 days ago I was walking and I sneezed and my lower back felt like it ‘collapsed’ I managed to stay up right but the next day I couldn’t walk because of the pain. It has since improved slightly but I’m still in a lot of pain.

I was wondering if you could recommend a service that would help me as I’m in a lot of pain.


December 9, 2015

Dear Sophie

Poor you – this is far too a frequent event regardless of seeing a Chiro, Physio, Osteo etc. It’s really, really easy to make someone feel better, it’s a little trickier to get them better.

Symptoms can flit and change around, but they are always joined by the cause of those symptoms. Mostly symptoms are gradual and insidious, there is no falling out of a window or being bashed by a car – it’s the gradual drip, drip, drip of something very slightly not doing what it should do….time does the rest. We would love it to be due to something as this makes it more reasonable, but it’s probably just coincidental. Stress just helps to accelerate this!

Fear not though, there is loads that can be done as you want to find out why and not just chase the symptoms around. Patients are, quite correctly, pretty concerned about what they feel – it’s our/my job to respectfully ignore them (well a little!!) and work out why….

You’ve got – as most people do, who have “failed” at conservative treatment a really stiff, painless middle bit of your back. To compensate for this your lower back moves more – if you can’t control this movement it becomes pretty painful and stiff.

This stiffness differs from the stiffness in the middle bit of your back as this is protective muscular stiffness and not joint stiffness – this is the fundamental difference. Get the top bit of your back moving and learn to stabilise the bottom bit of your back.

Try doing a single knee dip on your left compared to your right in front of the mirror – you’ll either be more wobbley or loose your symmetry on your left showing the lack of the control. This is what you need to work on.

Do have a squizz at some of these videos and have a read of this back pain piece

The Guru

Guru Responded

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