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Updated: Sep 15, 2020

(Part 1 of a 4 Part Series)

Thanks for clicking to read my first blog on the Muscle IQ Blog Page.  Today’s blog is about Low Back Pain. Twenty years ago, when I was attending Creighton University for my DPT degree I frequently heard people say that Low Back Pain was going to be the hardest diagnosis to treat.  (The easiest they said was treating a Total Knee Replacement, but that will be discussed in a future blog).

What is it about Low Back Pain that is so difficult to fix?

  1. The Medical Model of treatment focuses on diagnosing the problem according to the disease model.  

  2. Public dependence on imaging. (I want an MRI).

  3. Giving patients exercises without knowing what is weak and expecting it to get better.

  4. Not treating the problem to completion.

Today’s blog will focus on how the Muscle IQ model differs from the Medical Model for diagnosing and treating low back pain.  According to the Medical Model, the most common diagnosis for low back pain is called Non-Specific Low Back Pain. It is defined as low back pain not attributable to a recognizable, known specific pathology (eg, infection, tumour, osteoporosis, lumbar spine fracture, structural deformity, inflammatory disorder,radicular syndrome, or cauda equina syndrome).  Or in other words, they have no idea why this person’s back hurts, because it does not fit the “disease” model.

One thing that sets us apart at Muscle IQ is that we have a quick and effective way of categorizing why your back hurts and what we should do about it to help the pain..  The Model we follow is called the Fascial Distortion Model. How does this differ from the Medical model of diagnosing and treating low back pain?

First, if there are so many people with non-specific low back pain, how do they know that the patients with the other types of back pain don’t also have back pain attributable to the same cause of pain as the non-specific low back pain.  Or in other words, why do they attribute all of your back pain to something they see on an MRI or x-ray, when it might be the same type of pain presented by patients with non-specific low back pain. Is the pain that the patient is experiencing really coming from the image taken?  Or, the other disease based diagnosis?

What is the Fascial Distortion Model?

With the Fascial Distortion Model we take all medical history into consideration, and we watch for red flags.  But, instead of using a disease label for your back pain, we take the history from the patient, we listen to the patient tell us about the pain, and we watch their gestures.  The Fascial Distortion Model has six different types of fascial distortions that are each separately distinguishable by certain types of force injury descriptions, patient verbal descriptions, and patient gestures.  What makes the model effective is that there are specific, unique treatments for each of the six different fascial distortions. The most effective treatments are then used for that specific distortion. This helps us improve the results we can get with our patients. (See Research Article Above).

To learn more about the Fascial Distortion Model please visit our page at

My next blog will discuss low back pain as it pertains to Imaging and x-rays and the public’s dependence on “seeing” what is wrong with them and how effective imaging is with helping to treat low back pain.  What should the average patient with low back pain really be focused on with regard to their low back pain?

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