Why is back pain still a huge problem? Here’s an articulate explanation from a new paper by Max Zusman:
It is extremely difficult to alter the potentially disabling belief among the lay public that low back pain has a structural mechanical cause. An important reason for this is that this belief continues to be regularly reinforced by the conditions of care of a range of ‘hands-on’ providers, for whom idiosyncratic variations of that view are fundamental to their professional existence.
Nicely said. More simply: patients believe back pain is caused by structural fragility, and therapy careers are often built on catering to that belief.
If only I could edit it, though, I would say instead that it is difficult to alter that belief in anyone, patient or professional. The overemphasis on fragility isn’t just reinforced by the practices of manual therapists, it’s the reason for many of them.