Author: Dr. Shim:


Placebo vs Nocebo Effect

What is the “Placebo Effect”?  The placebo effect refers to a phenomenon that occurs when patients show an improvement in their condition upon receiving treatment designed to have no therapeutic benefit.  It’s also known as the  “Sugar Pill Effect”.  In research trials,  an active treatment is tested on a group of subjects,  and then a similar […]

When to See a Doctor for Back Pain

So,  when should you see a doctor for back pain? For those who have been following along with our blogs, I have described my process on how to manage non-emergency back pain.     Unfortunately,  for about 10% of you,  despite your patience, your commitment to regular exercise, and other accommodations you have made,  you are still in […]

What Is Pain?

Doc, why do I feel Pain? Believe it or not, that is a very complex question. Experiencing pain is a very important way for animals to prevent further injury. We all know that putting our hand in a fire will result in a burn. But knowing this and actually experiencing the effect of putting your […]

Walking and Stretching to Relieve Back Pain

Why do I recommend walking, stretching and exercising for chronic low back pain? For all back pains, we know that a person with good overall condition, good back and stomach muscle strength, and good flexibility will be less likely to develop a chronic back condition.  If you have chronic back pain, I would recommend staying […]

Restrictions for an Injured Back

When you have back pain, recommendations include avoiding bending at the waist, and minimizing lifting of any objects more than 25 lbs. How did these restrictions come about? Let’s be frank. When your back hurts, you do not want to bend, or lift anyway. But, as you get better, people are asking for guidelines. When […]

Which Painkiller is Best?

In a prior video, I made a suggestion that if you would like to try medications for back pain, there are options including acetaminophen/paracetamol, and ibuprofen. I counseled against narcotics. Let me be clear. If you have pain, it is completely normal to want to take a medication to decrease the pain. The problem is, […]

Doc, I have back pain. What do I do?

I have been reading the comments to the Shimspine Youtube channel, and I realize that many people are looking for some guidance. So instead of responding to the individual questions, I am starting a series on How I would answer the most common question, which is  Doc, I have back pain. What should I do? […]

Don’t Freak Out About Your Doctor’s Notes

Do you ever get scared after reading your medical report? Does the report mention terms like cancer, infection, or fracture? I know it sounds very intimidating. I have had people come to my office telling me their last doctor said they did not have cancer, but their report made it sound like it was possible. […]

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Mysterious Spine Terms Decoded

Are You Confused about all of these terms you see on your Medical records about your neck and back doctor’s visits? Well,  so are most people.  Frankly,  if you do not know,  the terms can sound intimidating and confusing. Let me try to explain what these commonly used medical terms mean. Axial Pain. What is […]

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What is Spine Traction?

What is traction?  How does it help your spine?  Is it the same as decompression?  Is an inversion table a form of traction? The answer is all are forms of traction. There are many variations,  but the basic concept is to pull on the spine to provide some pain relief. Traction has been recommended for […]