When you have back problems it can be very confusing on what to do. Google says one thing, your cousin another, nothing worked for your coworker, and there are 10000+ exercises on YouTube. So how do you know what to do and just as important know what not to do. These 5 myths of back pain can give you an idea of where to start.
Myth 1) You Should Rest-While you don’t want to aggravate your back with exercise that strains it rest can be one of the worst things you can do. Resting allows your muscles and joints to get stiff, which will make you move less fluidly and can actually cause pain. If you are resting right after an injury it can also lead to more swelling building up which can shut down your muscles protecting the area and cause a lot of pressure and pain. I’m not saying rest is never needed, in certain instances it is, but the overwhelming majority of the time it isn’t the answer you are looking for. Another reason complete rest is a poor idea is that it makes you a passive player in your recovery. I don’t know about you, but if there is something I can do to get my pain down I want to do it and not rely on luck or anything else I don’t have control of.
Myth 2) You Should Avoid Activities-Activities that cause you a large increase in pain should be avoided in the short term, but movement will more often than not will actually DECREASE your pain. The trick is to know how to modify your activities instead of avoiding them. By modifying your activities you can get moving again which can increase blood flow to the sore area and causes your brain to release pain reducing chemicals that will decrease your pain. By moving more and more you can get closer to moving the way you want to move with the activities you love.
If you have had pain for more than a a couple weeks we absolutely need to get you back to those activities. We see a ton of pain and stiffness from long lasting back injuries. After you have had pain for a while your brain wants to find ways to move without causing you pain so it will cause you to adapt or compensate your movement. The compensations usually work for avoiding the pain, but they end up stressing the body in different ways and sometime down the line they will likely cause pain either in previous area of pain or maybe in a totally new area. In people with ongoing pain or pain that comes and goes for months we end up treating these compensations just as much as the original injury. Human bodies are meant to move. Let us help you. We want you to STOP DESIGNING YOUR LIFE TO AVOID YOUR PAIN and get you back to the activities you love.
Myth 3) Medications Will Help-They may take the edge off, but pain meds are not designed to cure an injury. For short bouts they have their place in severe injuries when pain greatly effects your life. However, most health conscious people want to avoid pain meds because of their addictive nature or their side effects. When you consider these downsides with the fact that they are only masking the cause of the pain there are only specialized cases when they should be used and there should be a plan to get off of them very quickly. Luckily there is a large pushback by many in medicine who realize they are not the answer to fixing pain or getting you closer to your goals and are minimizing any prescription of pain meds.
Myth 4) You Need a MRI/X-Ray-For decades It was thought that you needed a MRI or X ray to find out what was causing your pain. Then some clever researchers started doing imaging (MRI’s, X Rays, CT scans, etc…) on people without pain. Guess what they found? They found that a majority of people have something going on in their back that would have previously been thought to have caused pain (Herniated Discs, Degenerative Disc Disease, Arthritis, etc..). This made us realize that these “findings” didn’t correlate to pain. So just because you get a MRI and they find the dreaded herniated disc (which we treat everyday and isn’t as bad as you think to recover from with proper help) it doesn’t mean that the herniated disc is causing your pain. So if the MRI can’t for sure diagnose the cause of your pain it doesn’t have much value for the majority of back pain sufferers. If you come in and you meet some very specific criteria from a physical examination as a Doctor of Physical Therapy we can order a MRI/X Ray/CT Scan for you. However, delaying getting care to get imaging first will set you back and make your recovery take longer.
Myth 5) Back Pain is Normal-Back Pain isn’t normal! It is common. There is a big difference. Because so many of us are stuck behind a computer sitting and not as active as we would like we have similar stresses on our body and may develop similar pains. Many of the beliefs and myths about back pain are common so likely you may select several similar ways or ideas to self treat your back as someone across the country. So now we have similar causes of stress to the back, similar thoughts on what to do about it, and similar strategies to get rid of it. The problem with this is many of the thoughts around back pain are incorrect and the strategies to get rid of pain are inefficient. This leads to many people having pain, but the sad fact is the majority of these people shouldn’t have pain. But because of the confusion and the massive amount of incorrect information out there instructing you what to do about it most people still have pain. But back pain isn’t normal. That is part of the point of this article, to correct people’s misconceptions of back pain so they take action to get rid of it an. With some help from a good PT they could get rid of their pain and fast.
So if you are struggling with back pain and want to get rid of it fast. Please consider clicking the green button below to read more about our free report titled "9 Ways to Ease Low Back pain to Help You Live an Active Lifestyle" (without pain meds, frequent Dr. visits, or surgery) and get even more free information on what you can do to relieve your back pain.
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