This change is sure to get people talking. Opinions run strong when it comes to pain relief (just see the article's comments section!) Carried by the mainstream press, this topic will now make its way into all kinds of conversations about pain and addiction, pleasure and punishment.
I am optimistic about systemic change, toward a holistic view of care. But here's my big "however": Back pain is not just one thing. Pain anywhere is a message for us to attend to, and ask the body, "Hey, what's going on?" Sometimes pain corresponds directly with the area, sometimes the relationship to its source is mysterious. It can be devilishly difficult to figure out just what that message is. We have to keep listening, using all the tools available.
I've learned to not assume back pain is muscular. (Could be organic!) This idea doesn't always fly, when a client is convinced otherwise. So I leaven my approach with humor. Offer something that helps in the moment. Educate a bit, inviting opening to curiosity. Orient to what moves us along in time, together.
And I listen some more.