Chronic Back Pain

Linda Canning

November 28th, 2019

Have You Been Told Nothing More Can Be Done?


If you have chronic back pain, then this is a great video for you to watch. Here, Prof. Peter O'Sullivan talks about how widespread the problem is, but also how badly it is managed.

First off he gives some powerful statistics:

Only 1% of back pain is caused by something systemically pathological like an inflammatory condition or cancer.

Only 5% is linked to a structural problem like a disc prolapse.
95% of back pain is not linked to the findings that are seen on an MRI scan.
90% of the population will have degenerative discs and 45% will have disc prolapses without any symptoms at all.

Due to the rise of the MRI scan we have created a belief that back pain is caused by the structure of the spine, when in fact most of the time it is due to the pain sensitised tissues around the back and the amplification of these tissues by the brain that causes pain.

A viscous cycle is created here. Patients are told not to move, or move but 'hold in your core' which creates unnecessary tension, muscle guarding and a fear avoidance behaviour which creates anxiety..which causes more amplification of the pain in those tissues by the brain.

Patients are then too scared to exercise which has massive detrimental effects to their overall health.

I hear stories like the ones in this video all of the time. It makes me so sad when someone believes 'their disc slipped' 30 years ago and it's caused them pain ever since, or that 'their spine is crumbling', or they have 'a joint out' because that's what they have been told by specialists. These are really scary and untrue visions created by the health care system, and so the problem goes on...creating fear...maintaining pain.

We can help!

In my clinic, we encourage movement and teach people that actually, your spine is really strong! This knowledge in itself is so healing as it shifts the belief and their vision that they are damaged. Even if you do have disc degeneration on an MRI scan - 95% of the really doesn't matter!

We can help you by desensitising the painful structures and teach you about your pain. This is quite empowering stuff.

Often, it doesn't take long at all to help someone to get moving again; without pain..even if you have had it for years.

Please do contact us for more information, or forward this to someone you know that might find this information really helpful.

I'm going to be running back pain workshops in 2020. Let me know if you would like to come along - just send me an email at