#112: A Refreshing Take on Back Pain with Prof. Peter O’Sullivan

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AdapNation is all about removing roadblocks and enabling you to #BeYourBest. And when it comes to roadblocks… Back Pain is the leading cause of disability globally!

But… have we placed far too much emphasis on ageing, degeneration, injury, surgery and opioid medications where it comes to the discussion and treatment of back issues?

Be prepared to hear a different story. We’ve got on the refreshing and ground breaking Professor Peter O’Sullivan on the show to give us a crash course on the reality of our backs, back pain management, and how to have a healthy back into your old age.  

Peter is a Professor of Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy at Curtin University, Perth, is one of the most influential and innovative names in this specialty – with half his time spent on clinical research into Pain and pain disorders, and the other hand of his time treating 1000’s people with pain issues. 

As always, this is an insightful and hugely practical interview, with big ideas, mind-blowing concepts, and has the potential to make a big difference to so many peoples lives.

Here’s what we discuss:

  1. Peter – Back story – Why he got into pain disorders. His credentials and experience etc.
  2. The existing Clinal Guidance and Dogma – founded in science? e.g. Rigid straight spines when sitting or lifting, tech neck, protect vulnerable spines etc…
  3. Societal pressures on Posture – fashion, desirability, confidence. Male/female differences.
  4. Should we be guilty when we slump and relax into our chairs and sofas?
  5. Lessons from indigenous people, manual labourers, gymnasts, circus performers and strongmen…
  6. Stats on Back pain prevalence – from kids to seniors, leading worldwide disability, and more…
  7. Why are backs are so susceptible? What are the leading causes?
  8. The role of Psychological and Social factors on Back Pain
  9. Steve shares a few Anecdotes – Early life-limiting back surgery, resolving back pain through understanding psychology and response to back tweaks
  10. The similarity Back Pain and Headaches
  11. Alarmist nature with Degenerative Back Issues – what’s the story? Are we right with current messaging? What about the science and real outcomes?
  12. Spinal Surgery & Opioid Epidemic – the studies, the risks associated to Surgery and Meds, and the need for quick fixes.
  13. Straight Back Lifting vs Rounded – what’s the advice?
  14. Back Pain/InjuryTherapeutic and Recovery Best Practices
  15. General Lifestyle Guidance for a Healthy Back

Where to find Prof Peter O’Sullivan and his work online:

Third Party References:


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6 thoughts on “#112: A Refreshing Take on Back Pain with Prof. Peter O’Sullivan

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    1. If you would be so kind Kathy, it would help the show a great deal if you could leave a short 5 star review on Apple Podcasts. Thanks! 🙏🏻

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