Pam Damoff, a town councilor in Oakville, has always enjoyed an active lifestyle, especially cycling and the feeling of freedom that she experiences when she is out for a ride. However, all it took was the simple, innocuous act of putting on her socks one day for this to quickly change.

Pam felt something shift in her lower back when she bent over, and a little while later when she was out for a walk she realized something was terribly wrong: the pain, she said was excruciating. She tried applying heat when she got home, but it was an effort just sitting on the couch to do this. Pam was also extremely concerned about her upcoming trip to Italy and the agony of sitting on a plane for seven hours.

Pam immediately sought treatment at her chiropractic clinic. Her chiropractor performed a thorough evaluation, which included a verbal questionnaire, mobility tests, blood pressure check, and balance and a range of motion assessments.

Based on her assessment, Pam’s chiropractor recommended as treatment a combination of massage, acupuncture and manual therapy, as well as a series of exercises to strengthen Pam’s back. As her condition improved, the exercises were modified to maximize their benefit. Throughout Pam’s care, her chiropractor provided her with clear, detailed instructions about the treatment she was receiving and also educated her about managing expectations around what treatment could and couldn’t do.

After a few visits to the clinic, the combination of treatment and self-care strategies significantly improved Pam’s symptoms, and she was able to enjoy her trip to Italy without pain or discomfort. Her experience with low back pain has helped her appreciate how much of an impact it can have on everyday life, and how routine activities can suddenly become huge obstacles. Pam is also very relieved that her chiropractor was able to assess and diagnose her situation quickly and provide effective treatment in time for her trip.

This story was adapted from this article: Low Back Pain: Integrating Care, which was published in the Medical Post, in May, 2015.