Is there relapse after MSK treatment?

A common question from people who have been treated with musculoskeletal medicine is: Now I have been treated, but I wonder: will it all be okay? Don't I quickly fall back into the disorders that have been treated? My answer is: the risk of relapse is limited.

An explanation:

  • Our body has numerous sensors that register what is happening in and around our body: positions, movements, internal and external forces such as stretch or pressure. That's for a reason. The goal is to monitor and preserve the integrity of the body and, where necessary, to respond with an action to protect that integrity.
  • By nature, there is a kind of basic tension in the body of tissues that are permanently on strain stress. This is a body-wide network of connective tissue structures that partly maintain the integrity of the body.
  • The so-called joint cavity of joints is actually not a cavity but a narrow space filled with synovial fluid. It prevents a joint from being pulled apart just like that. If this does happen, a vacuum is created, creating a strong force to get the joint surfaces back together.
  • In the erect position of the body, gravity compresses the body like a puzzle. It's built on it. For example, the vertebrae have protrusions on both the top and bottom that fit together when the vertebrae are pressed together. This ensures great stability of the spine in a stressed state.
  • All kinds of programs are stored in the memory that control postures and movements. Also from the time when there were no problems. The faster these programs are reactivated, the smaller the chance of derailments. Perhaps an evaluation is needed to assess whether the 'old' behaviour needs to be adjusted.

The risk of relapse after treatment is therefore limited. Given the above, there are a number of conditions. In the first place, there should not be something 'broken' that can no longer be repaired. There should also be non-major disorders elsewhere that affect the treated area, for example via biomechanical chains. Finally, it is also important to be physically active, especially with those movements where the person was previously well known. Relapse is not always preventable. Often elements such as the above play a role. Sometimes the cause of relapse is not clear. A few will occasionally have to 'go back into the overhaul'.




Burton AK, Balagué F, Cardon G, et al, on behalf of the COST B13 Working Group on European Guidelines for Prevention in Low Back Pain. Best Pract & Res Clin Rheum Vol. 19, No. 4, p541-555 and No. 6, p1095, 2005.

De Morree JJ. Dynamiek van het menselijk bindweefsel. 6e druk, 2014, BSL.