Your Physician Said WHAT?!?!

“You have a ripped disc between L4/5″…
Yes, you read that correctly, a RIPPED DISC! This is a direct quote from a patient I saw, ironically, just after my post on the shortcomings of diagnostic labels and diagnostic imaging. I couldn’t help but ask the patient how this made her feel:
“It scared the #$%& out of me”…another direct quote.
My response? 

It took quite a bit of patient education and demonstration of rapid improvement of her symptoms to convince her that her “ripped disc” wasn’t the end of the world. She left happy, feeling much better both physically and emotionally.
The point? Clinicians, be careful of what you say and how you say it. If another provider has created these thought viruses, do your part to EDUCATE before any physical treatment. Shoot, education may be the only required treatment! Patients, if you have been told this or anything like this, again, on behalf of the medical community, I am sorry. If you have fallen victim to these types of scenarios and are dealing with acute or long term low back pain, check out my series on low back pain, including why you REALLY hurt and how to manage it!


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