The Most Effective Lower Back Pain Treatment

The Most Effective Lower Back Pain Treatment Barefoot Rehabilitation Clinic

20 Nov The Most Effective Lower Back Pain Treatment

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If you’re going to get lower back pain treatment, you might as well make sure that it:

  • lasts (provides permanent relief).
  • makes your back healthier (more flexible than it was before).
  • is what your back needs to be pain-free ASAP (instead of making you feel good for 6 hours, only to have the pain come roaring back the next day).

Failure to choose the most effective lower back pain treatment is an amusement park ride that is best avoided.

Not only will riding the Medical Merry-Go-Round cause you to waste thousands of dollars, months to years worth of time, and ridiculous amounts of emotional energy that is best saved for your cherished relationships, but you could be setting your lower back up for greater injury in the future.

To find permanent pain relief, we need to set up the golf ball so that it is tee’d up appropriately. Only then can we drive it hundreds of yards as opposed to the rinky-dink shot that barely clears the teeing ground.

The two simplified steps to fixing your lower back pain is figuring out:

A) do you have restricted range of motion in flexion and extension?

B) do you have adhesion in the muscles that restrict those ranges of motion?

A) Do you have Full Range of Motion in these 2 Tests?

If your range of motion is full in the two low back tests, then you have a structural problem such as a bulging disc and need an MRI. Especially if your pain has lasted more than a few days and is more than mild.

Any treatment done on a low back with full, passing tests will be ineffective.

The two low back tests that you can measure with a friend at home are the:

If your pencil test looks like this …


… where 1.5″ or less are against the pencil below, lower back pain treatments on your back muscles WILL NOT help you.

In other words:

If you have full rounding of your low back, then you don’t have a muscle problem.

If your pencil test looks like this …


or worse, this …


… then lower back pain treatment on your muscles CAN PROBABLY help you.

That’s the Pencil Test, which assesses the muscles behind your spine – your low back muscles.

Now, let’s look at the Lunge Stretch Test to assess the muscles in front of your spine – your psoas (filet mignon anyone?) and iliacus.

If your lunge stretch is greater than 12″, than it is full and lower back pain treatments to your psoas and illiacus WILL NOT help you.


If your lunge stretch is less than 12″, then lower back pain treatment to your psoas and iliacus CAN PROBABLY help you.


The worse your test, the more likely lower back pain treatment will help you!


B) Does Your Doctor Feel Adhesion In the Area?

To permanently improve your range of motion and get you out of pain, any adhesion in your body needs to be removed.

Adhesion is the most common problem in the musculoskeletal system that no one is talking about and is very easily fixable.


Adhesion is very different from the typical muscle knot that massage therapists push on to give you relief.

Any muscle that you (or your therapist or doctor) can skip over a like a bunch of cooked spaghetti is a knot will NOT give you any permanent relief in your pain.

Instead, adhesion feels thick, dense, and leathery. Kind of like a well-done steak.

You know the Thumb Test you do to test how cooked your steak is?

Your therapist or doctor should be using the same Thumb Test to see if you have adhesion.


If you have adhesion in a muscle that limits your range of motion, the odds are good that removing the adhesion will improve your range of motion (and lower your pain, permanently).

What The Most Effective Lower Back Pain Treatment Looks Like

Sometimes, at dinner parties or in talking to a random person who finds out I fix annoying, frustrating pains, the person will say:

I’ve been getting my lower back pain treated for years. I love it.

When I ask them how long the lower back pain lasts, they say:

Oh, a few days, then it comes back and I go back for another treatment.

That’s when I smirk and say:

Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could have a lower back pain treatment that gave you permanent relief?

In complete disbelief, they respond:

Is that possible? That’s not possible. I’ve had this for way too long and I’ve tried everything.

I smile, again.

The most effective lower back pain treatments …


for weeks to months to years

without a weekly treatment.

This is what treatment looks like when the Pencil Test is restricted and there’s adhesion in the low back muscles:

This is what treatment looks like when the Lunge Stretch Test is restricted and there’s adhesion in the psoas muscle:

The more chronic your pain is, the “too simple” this formula is

Please be aware.

Most of the people we see at Barefoot Rehab in Denville, NJ, have seen at least 3 docs or therapists without relief.

Therefore, we do way more testing and palpating to figure out the problem.

What you see above is ALWAYS done.

It’s just that MORE testing has to occur, especially if you’ve been suffering for years with very chronic pain.


What lower back pain treatment have you had? Did they last? What % improvement did you experience?

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Dr. Chris Stepien, DC, Full-Body ID Certified, ART Certified, CSCS, and CrossFit Level 1 Certified, fixes your annoying and frustrating pains, even when it's been over 6 months and you've seen 3-5 other doctors or therapists without lasting relief Barefoot Rehab in Denville, NJ. And when you're sad, depressed, or not enjoying life, Dr. Chris wants to hug you. He invites you to reach out, no matter what your concern is. Barefoot Rehab is here to serve you.
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  • Lisa Rendon
    Posted at 03:16h, 26 August Reply

    Would love to live pain free. I’m entirely too young to be in so much pain from lower back and to be experiencing the constant popping in my lower back. Have tried everything. Feel like my life is over and I’m not even 40 yet. Please help!!!

    • Dr. Chris
      Posted at 12:31h, 26 August Reply

      Hi Lisa, how long have you been in pain? And where do you live?

  • Tyler Choquette
    Posted at 20:00h, 04 April Reply

    I’m a fire fighter , been dealing with low back pain for 3 years now. Seen all sorts of specialist had all sorts of tests done. Would love to wake up for at least 3 days in a row without pain. Willing to work hard but nothing seems to help! Would love to chat with you about options

    • Dr. Chris
      Posted at 12:26h, 07 April Reply

      Hi Tyler, yup, we hear this all of the time, especially because we only take patients who have been to at least 3 docs or therapists without relief. If you can travel to New Jersey, you can call 862-205-4847 and the next step is to speak to one of our patient advocates to see if you qualify for permanent relief.

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