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Here Are 8 Surprising Myths About Back Pain

Lets tackle some of the most common and bothersome myths about back pain.

  1. Acute back pain is short-term pain.

While you may be one of the lucky few who have a short-lived bout of back pain, most people experience a recurrence of back problems or extended episodes. Back pain can be a lifelong problem for some who fail to heed the warning of initial pain/ stiffness. A 2004 study (  followed patients for five years after their initial bout of acute back pain. Large numbers had significant and ongoing problems that affected their quality of life and work status. 

  1. Spinal manipulation or adjustments are the most effective treatment for your back pain.

While spinal manipulation may have its benefits, it is very short lived and not a long lasting solution to orthopedic problems. About 80% (Mckenzie institute site) of patients with common spine problems can be taught self-treatment methods.  

  1. Ultrasound treatment and various electrical therapies are proven to assist in the healing process and recovery from back pain. 

These are passive therapies that do not involve the patient in the recovery of their pain/ stiffness. Feeling good is one thing…reaching goals and causing true change is another!

  1. Inflammation causes back pain. 

While inflammation does occur in the presence of certain conditions such as RA and ankylosing spondylitis (Mayo clinic), sudden onset of back pain is usually mechanical in nature. Mechanical pain differs from chemical pain (inflammation) and here is how: Mechanical pain is caused from excessive strain of the supporting ligaments around the vertebrae in the low back. This weakening of supporting ligaments can result in minor displacement of the intervertebral disc. If the disc between your bones touches nerves, pain will likely result. Lucky for you, this condition can be fixed and prevented. 

  1. Arthritis of Osteoarthritis causes back pain. 

The natural aging process causes changes in the spine which can be seen on X-ray. This does not mean that “aging”, “degeneration”, or “arthritis” are the cause of pain. These changes on imaging show up on people who have never even experienced back pain. 

  1. You should take it easy and avoid vigorous activity.

  2. You will have to stop running, playing the sports you like or participating in recreational activities. 

For myths six and seven it is crucial to recognize that you are not as fragile as you feel. Oftentimes running, sports, and other recreational activities are mistakenly attributed to the onset of back pain. The reality is that staying active, maintaining spine flexibility, and using your core muscles is vital for maintaining vitality.

  1. Back pain is caused by damp conditions or the weather. 

Barometric pressure may have some influence on an already present pain experience but it is not the cause of your pain. High and low-pressure systems can increase discomfort but remember…there is a root cause as to why your body was sensitive in the first place. 

If you are struggling with back pain you need a movement exam! Call today to schedule your free exam so you can get back to the things you love to do!