If you’re genuinely interested in how to do more to help clients struggling with low-level back pain, then I’ve got a list of dangerous actions here you need to learn about FAST, especially if you don’t want to have to specialise in injuries.
The main idea of this list is that sometimes, no matter how good your intentions are, your actions can cause more harm than good and just because you THINK you’re helping, doesn’t mean to say you ARE.
The most important thing here is that you need to set your own urge to feel useful aside so you can stop putting your clients’ health at risk, because clients will take your suggestions as gospel, even if you’re just guessing… which puts both of you in dangerous positions.
Dangerous Action # 1 – Stop Listening When You Hear “Back Pain”
Whether you avoid the area completely, or assume you know what will help, the very worst thing you can do is stop listening when a client tells you they have back pain, or a “bad back”. You don’t need a detailed medical history, but asking more questions about their lived experiences with their pain will help a lot.
Dangerous Action # 2 – Suggest A Remedy Just Because It Helped Someone Else
Not all back pain is made equal. Just because someone mentions that they have a “bad back” does NOT mean that everyone has the same problem and therefore needs the same solutions.
Don’t be tempted to suggest an alternative exercise on the basis that it helped someone else’s back pain, if you’re not sure if it’ll help your individual clients’ pain or not.
Dangerous Action # 3 – Assume The Back Is Weak
Jumping to the conclusion that the back is “weak” when someone has back pain or a history of back problems can do more harm than good, especially if your next action is to suggest strengthening exercises for the area. Adding more load or stress to an already stressed area can be a recipe for disaster.
Dangerous Action # 4 – Go Into “Fix It” Mode
Let me be very clear… It is NOT your job, nor will it EVER BE your job to FIX back pain. It’s completely natural to want to help solve something that you see as a problem, or to offer a solution when you think someone is struggling, but whenever you are in that mindset, you are stepping firmly OUTSIDE of your responsibilities as a trainer or coach… and anything you say or do from then on, can be construed as advice, which you are NOT qualified to give (but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do)
Dangerous Action # 5 – Think That You’re The Only One Who Is Working With Your Client
The longer your client has struggled with back pain, the more professionals are likely to involved in their care. Be careful that whatever you say doesn’t undermine, contradict, or undo any treatment that they are having elsewhere. It’s confusing for the client, and it leads to mistrust.
So, next time you encounter a client with back pain, take a second to think about this list so you can avoid the dangerous actions that you may previously have considered helpful.
And here’s one more thing before I forget. Did you realise, if you really want to do more to help clients struggling with low-level back pain, this amazing new success map “Back Pain Buster! A Kick-Ass Success Map for Introverted Personal Trainers” makes it super easy for you! Check it out here https://kickasspt.com/backmap