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The Lowdown
on Lower Back Pain

If you have back pain, chronic back pain that you've had for months or years, that needs continual adjustments or pain-killer medications you are not treating the cause of your pain, you are just treating the compensations or the symptoms.


Pain stays for a reason, after treatment you may have pain holiday for a few hours or days, but your pain returns, means that you haven’t found the reasons for your pain.

Christchurch Clinic treats back pain differently

At our pain clinic in Christchurch we have a different approach that can completely stop your pain or substantially reduce your daily pain levels.

It is important to look after your spine. We often never pay any attention to our spine until things go wrong!


Unfortunately if you are getting regular treatments for your back pain, without doing your own self-care, by the time you get older you may have a pain specialists suggesting treatment such as nerve blocks, or even spine fusions - that means back surgery!

Spine operations may not be a great idea


Think about prevention not spine surgery!

Some Reasons for Your Back Pain


  • Posture – the way you stand, sit or move pulls muscles and joints out of alignment.

  • Stress

  • Incorrect exercises, movement or lifting

  • Emotional experiences or past pain trauma

  • Skeletal muscle imbalance

  • Post surgery chronic pain


Medical viewpoint is different to ours - check research below


Doctors or chiropractors may have told you that you have disc degeneration or a bulging disc and you have to take medication or to have regular adjustments. However this may not be causing you pain, as we all have some level of disc degeneration, but no pain!


Mid age woman with backache.jpg

The table below show the meta-analysis research results done in 2015, a total of 3300 people who had no symptoms of pain. That means they do not have any back pain, but the research showed they have degeneration and bulging discs, even younger people.

spine degeneration research limits not r

Systematic Literature Review of Imaging Features of Spinal Degeneration in Asymptomatic Populations: W. Brinjikji et al AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2015 Apr; 36(4): 811-816. Limits of table has too few research studies for reliability, hence ruled off.

Research Conclusions

Imaging evidence of degenerative spine disease is common in asymptomatic individuals and increases with age. These findings suggest that many imaging-based degenerative features may be part of normal aging and unassociated with low back pain, especially when incidentally seen. These imaging findings must be interpreted in the context of the patient’s clinical condition.

Let me clarify what this back pain research shows.



Consider the circled section, healthy people in their 30’s, the table shows an average of 52% of them will have some disc degeneration. Degeneration on it’s own may not cause back pain.


As we actually live our body experiences changes, but just because we have an X-ray of MRI that shows our back isn’t in perfect condition it may NOT be the reason for ongoing chronic back pain. 

A Case Study of Failed Back Surgery 

As Sally, one of my clients, found out after 8 years of unremitting pain, not helped by any corrections or pills, finally had a back operation only to find after 3 months her pain was worse. Now her diagnosis of FBSS – yes it’s true, it’s medically defined – she experienced Failed Back Surgery Syndrome! For her story click here

Information on chronic lower back pain

Low back pain is the leading worldwide cause of years lost to disability and its burden is growing alongside the increasing and ageing population. (Prof R. Buchbinder, PhD Lancet, June 09 2018)


So I guess if you are reading this page the above includes you. Is it just a few days of pain, or years of searching for answers to regaining your full lifestyle?


In New Zealand and Australia we may have access to accurate information sources, health-care approaches that provide appropriate support for self-management of uncomplicated low back pain, and to specialised effective interventions, such as multidisciplinary rehabilitation, for complex persistent low back pain.


In Christchurch we have the Pain Management Centre at Burwood, often the last resort to get answers, but can be difficult to get an appointment.

Is Chronic Pain being treated correctly?

The latest ideas are that pain management shouldn’t be more medications. It is now known that taking pills for your chronic pain is rarely the total answer. Often drugs need to be increased as they lose their effectiveness, increasing the number of side effects. 


Increased use of ineffective potentially unsafe treatments, we are now coming to realise, has wasted limited health-care resources and harmed patients. The epidemic of addiction and rising mortality resulting from increased opioid prescribing in the USA over the past 20 years is a dramatic example of the disastrous effects of damaging medical intervention.


Opioids are also used in Australia and New Zealand, understandably so as patients just need the pain to go away. But generally to not such a dangerous extent, which is fortunate for us.

Some terminology you may have seen or read on your reports:

Iatrogenic Causes of PainDisabling low back pain is partly iatrogenic – medical term for the pain is caused by medical intervention, drugs or comments of medical professionals.

Idopathic Causes of PainDoctors or specialists have no idea why you are in constant pain, but often find reasons that may not be the full story of why your pain persists. 

Have you had enough of Chronic Back Pain? 

  • Back pain can make us grumpy so we have lost ourselves, changed how we interact with friends, family and workmates.

  • Are you tired of finishing work and feeling exhausted?

  • Concerned about whether you can actually keep doing your job, or continue to support yourself and your family?

  • Is chronic pain impacting on your career and affecting your finances and your future life?

Here are two natural drug-free options

1. If you live in Christchurch book a face-to-face consultations with PASC, discuss your pain with Jean. Learn about the causes of pain and get self-help techniques to start to control your pain.

2. Visit my online business Natural Pain Solutions. Here you'll find numerous free to use self-help ideas, videos and information. Also you can choose to join a regular 30 minute relaxation and meditation session online when Jean will teach pain relief techniques and skills to put into daily use.

3. If you'd like to have more information about chronic back pain, before you opt for one the treatment options above, visit this blog "Why I have back pain? (And what I can do about it) that I've put together to help your understanding of your back and why you are suffering regularly with pain.


These options are available in New Zealand, Australia and UK, as they will be conducted in person or online with Jean Jordan, Chronic Pain Therapist.

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