It’s that time of year again! People are making their New Year’s resolutions and pondering different ways they can improve their quality of life for the coming year. At some point, we all might’ve thought, “I’m going to get healthy this year, eat right, and start exercising!” That’s an excellent goal, but I’d like you to consider how many times you’ve followed through and been consistent with that resolution for the year and throughout your life. If that goal has fallen by the wayside, you’re not alone.

That’s an excellent goal, but I’d like you to consider how many times you’ve followed through and been consistent with that resolution for the year and throughout your life. If that goal has fallen by the wayside, you’re not alone. It’s very difficult to make lifestyle changes. When a patient is referred to physical therapy (PT), especially for neck or back pain, that is what the doctor and physical therapist are asking you to do. Not easy, is it?

Treating low back pain (LBP) or neck pain conservatively is not easy. Most of the time, PT can effectively treat an episode of neck or LBP. Physical therapists utilize exercise, therapeutic massage, manual therapy, ice, heat and electrical stimulation to help people with pain. Sometimes that isn’t enough. Maybe a patient is too sedentary, avoids regular exercise, frequently makes poor dietary choices, or in some cases, exercises too much or incorrectly. As therapists, we help people reflect on their lives to determine what might be contributing to their condition. Since we cannot be with our patients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, we rely on our evaluation skills and communication to help determine what lifestyle changes need to be made to effectively treat LBP or neck pain. These changes differ from individual to individual, but the common denominator is change, setting a goal, and making that “New Year’s resolution” even if it’s in the middle of July.

As physical therapists, we understand that change is difficult. We are here to help you along the way. It’s important to understand that part of rehabilitation is making a lifestyle change that is often multifaceted. If you are willing to accept the challenge, there is no end to the possibilities. If you are dealing with LBP or neck pain, make your New Year’s resolution to seek help at Prairie Spine & Pain Institute. Our team is fully equipped to help diagnose and treat many different forms of LBP and neck pain. Visit our website at www.prairiespine.com to learn more.