Back Pain Clinician (yours) – my thoughts

Back Pain Clinician

Back Pain Clinicians are not all created equal. Regardless of the letters, or numbers next to their name, what matters is their strategy to identify the causes of pain and teach you how to remove them, not what certifications they have and how smart they want you to think they are. In this article, I will give my thoughts on what to look for when finding a clinician.

My experience

I can relate to the process of going through clinicians, as I discuss in Gift of Injury (GOI now available in Kindle format), and being disappointed. I went to neuro and orthopedic surgeons, the pain management route, and PT. Luckily, I had a good chiropractor (Dr. Amy Bernstein) who suggested I see Dr. McGill and planted seeds in me to move better, i.e., spine hygiene. Yet, I was too stubborn to listen and still assumed that there was a magical fix to my back pain. One of the biggest problems I see with physical therapists is that they have to know how to treat the entire body but need to be more potent in treating the back. Learning the back alone can take decades, not just a few courses in a doctorate. Some even treat the back like a ball and socket joint and assume mobility and soft tissue work will be the fix.

Everyone gets better with our program

“Buy my package; everyone gets better.” Unfortunately, not everyone can get better. Whenever you hear this, you should run. Fixing a back is more complex, and each injury is unique. Do some digging, and find clients currently working with this clinician and former clients to get feedback on the process. Suppose they are into selling you treatment packages with manual therapy and need to give you a thorough assessment with homework. In that case, I will find another clinician, as stated in Back Mechanic. Make sure you find a clinician who spends time with you, teaches you how to move around your pain, and allows it to wind down.

I’ve seen too many cases of cookie-cutter programs given to clients with back injuries only to be told the pain is all in their head, or their damage isn’t significant, and they are sent away feeling crazy and in pain. Without a proper assessment, this approach is a lose-lose for everyone involved. If this has happened to you, don’t give up hope.

Please book here for those struggling with back pain or unsure how to progress with an assessment and consult and want guidance.

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Brian Carroll

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Brian is a retired world-class powerlifter with over two decades of world-class powerlifting. From 1999 to 2020, Brian Carroll was a competitive powerlifter, one of the most accomplished lifters in the sport's history. Brian started off competing in bench press competitions 'raw,' then, shortly into the journey, he gravitated toward equipped lifting as there were no "raw" categories then. You only had to choose from single-ply (USPF) and Multi-ply (APF/WPC). Brian went on to total 2730 at 275 and 2651 at 242 with more than ten times his body weight in three different classes (220, 242, 275), and both bench pressed and deadlifted over 800 pounds in two other weight classes. He's totaled 2600 over 20 times in 2 different weight classes in his career. With 60 squats of 1000lbs or more officially, this is the most in powerlifting history, regardless of weight class or federation, by anyone not named David Hoff. Brian realized many ups and downs during his 20+ years competing. After ten years of high-level powerlifting competition and an all-time World Record squat at 220 with 1030, in 2009, Brian was competing for a Police academy scholarship. On a hot and humid July morning, Brian, hurdling over a barricade at 275lbs, landed on, fell, and hurt his back. After years of back pain and failed therapy, Brian met with world-renowned back specialist Prof McGill in 2013, which changed his trajectory more than he could have imagined. In 2017, Brian Carroll and Prof McGill authored the best-selling book about Brian's triumphant comeback to powerlifting in Gift of Injury. Most recently (10.3.20) -Brian set the highest squat of all time (regardless of weight class) with 1306 lbs – being the first man to break the 1300lb squat barrier at a bodyweight of 303 lbs.
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