Demand Better Care for Back Pain

In order to find a true and lasting relief for chronic back and neck symptoms, most patients will eventually find that they need to demand better care for back pain, since their doctors and therapists often fall short of providing the type of treatment which will enact a cure.  The medical system has become more and more of a business each year, with many care providers concentrating on their economic bottom line far more than the heath and wellbeing of their patients.  The antiquated ideas of the Hippocratic Oath and a strong ethical code of conduct have been replaced by lessons directly out of a competitive MBA program.  It really makes me wonder who exactly is teaching the doctors of today and tomorrow… Gordon Gekko?


I have written extensively about my own horrifying experiences as the victim of misdiagnosed back pain.  I suffered under the ill conceived care of many providers for almost 2 decades, paying huge sums of money out of pocket and enjoying no relief whatsoever.  I was a virtual slave to symptomatic treatment, since this is what my doctors thought was best.  Of course, I did not realize that when they said “best” they were talking about what would be ideal to bolster their bank accounts!  I take full responsibility for my own agony, since I followed their advice without question and have no one to blame for the failure of their recommended treatments but myself.  Therefore, it is not my experiences which have really turned me against the manner in which chronic pain patients are managed in the modern healthcare system.  Instead, it is YOUR experiences which have really shaped my opinion…


On my various websites, I receive literally tens of thousands of letters yearly from patients just like you. All of you have been so kind to share your experiences and these stories demonstrate some basic facts about back pain care which are completely unacceptable.  Of course, there are the exceptions to the rule in which patients have nothing but praise for their doctors and in these cases, my heart is truly warmed.  I know that in my own case, my doctors might have been clueless to some extent, but I do not feel most were purposefully out to make money at my expense.  In some of YOUR stories, I am not so sure of their intentions…


If I had to create a profile of an “average back pain patient” who takes the time and effort to write to me, it would be of a frustrated person who has been poorly treated by the very doctors who they have hired to help them.  In a great number of cases, the patient was never given an explanation of what is wrong with them.  Most were subsequently placed in some form of treatment that they did not even understand and have (not surprisingly) benefited little, if any, from the care.  A majority of patients tell that their doctors do not seem to care about them at all and are hurried and rushed when in consultation. Quite a few patients go so far as to tell that their doctors almost seem angry or aggressive towards them, especially if they ask many questions.  Almost every back and neck patient has to endure long periods of usually ridiculous symptomatic care, which is not designed to cure anything, but instead merely makes the practice tons of money and keeps the patient in limbo, still suffering, for months, years or even decades.  Eventually many patients are frightened into unneeded surgical procedures, most of which fail immediately or in the long term.  Statistically, spinal surgery has a very low chance of providing a cure for any type of pain and an excellent chance of escalating the symptomatic profile exponentially.  Failed back surgery syndrome? Oh yes, many of you have it and are now truly stuck with what to do next…


Well, I could go on and on, detailing the horrors and risks of typical pharmaceutical treatment, the bogus tactics of some complementary care providers and the examples of misdiagnosis which are rampant in the dorsopathy industry, but enough is enough, literally.  Instead, I choose not to BEAT the doctors anymore, but to JOIN them.  Lets all get on the same team for a change… OK, doc, you want BUSINESS? Sure, let’s do it!



Business is a competitive concept.  Don’t like a business you are using?  Well, you can move on and take your patronage elsewhere.  Please, do yourself a favor and apply this philosophy to your medical providers, as well.  Instead of being subjected to the whims of a hurried, pissed off and often ignorant doctor whose head is full of their own agenda (i.e. getting paid or receiving a nice kickback from prescribing some dangerous and unproven drug), I recommend the following dialog:



“Doctor, I am not happy with you or the services you have provided.  You have treated me less than human and I feel like a paycheck to you and nothing more.  I want you to know that as of now, you are FIRED.  I have found someone better than you and I will do whatever I can to spread the word.  Maybe you should realize that you are dealing with a person here… I am far more than the client who pays this month’s lease invoice for your Bentley.”



This article is not a generalization on all doctors or care providers, but should provide food for thought for back pain patients who are not happy with the way they have been treated by their current physician.


Sensei Adam Rostocki is a leading patient advocate and back pain scholar. He is the author of “Cure Back Pain Forever” (ISBN 1-59971-997-5) and his free website hosts an encyclopedia of back pain topics, including an ultra popular interactive forum.

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