Is my pain due to something being out of place?

Many people with chronic pain will have been told, and may themselves believe that they have something (e.g. a disc, a bone) out of place, and which needs to be realigned or put back into place for their pain to resolve.  This recent article by researchers from Curtin University, including Prof. Peter O’Sullivan from Pain-Ed, discusses this possibility with specific emphasis on the pelvic region. In short, all relevant studies find no difference in pelvic movement or bony alignment between painful and non-painful sides in people with chronic low back or pelvic pain. Many people will of course feel better after undergoing manual therapy of various kinds. However, this improvement is due to reductions in pain, muscle tone and fear rather than realigning of body structures. Unfortunately, being told that you have something out of place can lead to fears about the structural integrity of the body, and increase dependence on others for help. Instead, best practice for such pain disorders should involve a multidimensional approach using a range of physical, lifestyle, cognitive and coping strategies.

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