Most people have experienced it before… you twist or reach or bend or pull, and it suddenly feels like something is giving way in your lower back… as if the vertebrae are sliding right out of place! When you try to stand up again, you get a sharp catching feeling and you can’t seem to straighten out properly. You announce to your family or friends that your ‘back is out’, or you ‘threw your back out’. It certainly conjures up some great images, but I’m here to tell you that while that’s exactly what it feels like has happened, it’s simply not true. Your back doesn’t go ‘out’. It’s not like a dresser drawer that slides in and out, but more like a door hinge that sometimes gets stuck! But don’t worry about this error – its a very common one… And sometimes even chiropractors find themselves propagating this myth…
It’s kind of like the Easter Bunny: we all know that he doesn’t exist, but every year he seems to hop back into our lives!
If the reason for your visit to the chiropractor is that you put your back out of place, this implies that the chiropractor will put your back back ‘in’ place. Sadly, after spending over 8 years operating my clinic, and treating more than 3000 different patients, I have not yet put anyone’s back back in! I do, however, mobilize thousands of backs – when they get stuck, I help get them moving again – and that means less pain for a lot of people!
So the next time you are tempted to say “I threw my back out”, try saying, “My back is stuck”. Maybe it doesn’t sound quite as sexy, but at least it’s accurate!