Nearly 85% of people will experience back pain at some point in their life. There’s a lot of incorrect and outdated information floating around out there. This can lead to people managing their back pain inappropriately and suffering for longer than they need to. Here are five of the most common back pain myths, and their realities.
Moving Will Make it Worse
Gone are the days when bed rest was the recommended course of action for low back pain. We know now that avoiding movement (walking, swimming, stretching, and bending) can actually delay your recovery.
Nearly all exercise is safe to continue(with modifications) when you have back pain. If you have had an acute episode of back pain, decrease the intensity and duration of exercise and ask a physical therapist for guidance.
Pain Equals Damage
The amount or level of pain you experience has very little correlation to the amount of damage to the joints and muscles of the back. Pain is complex. It is affected by many things including the amount of perceived threat, duration of pain, stress, and past experiences.
A Scan or Image Will Show Exactly What’s Wrong
Unfortunately, this is simply untrue. The majority of low back pain is “non-specific” meaning that it can’t be attributed to an identifiable condition (such as arthritis, infection, or inflammation). Most adults without back pain will have changes in the anatomy of their spine that are visible age-related changes (kind of like gray hairs of the spine). Finding a feature on an x-ray or MRI that is strongly related to pain or a serious threat to health is quite rare.
Back Pain is Caused by Weak Abdominals
Although we hear this myth over and over, there is not clear evidence that back pain is cause by weak abdominals. If back pain was due to weak abdominals, then the strongest athletes would not have back pain, but they do. However, it never hurts to strengthen your core muscles along with the rest of your body simply for better health and performance of daily activities.
Chances are, you or someone you know will experience back pain at some point in their life. I hope this article debunked a few myths so you can successfully recover from low back pain. If you have additional questions about back pain, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have back pain and want to know exactly what to do about it, click the link below to request a free discovery visit at Momentum Physical Therapy.
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