Common Myths about Back Pain

Common Myths About Back Pain

Back problems are extremely common. Unfortunately so are the myths around them. Belief in these myths makes people delay treatment, or wrongly administer their own treatment. The worst part is that some of these myths are so rampant, that even some healthcare professionals believe them. Knowledge is power. And in this case, will hopefully help people get the right treatment for their back pain. In this article, we attempt to bust a few of these common myths associated with back pain.

1. Back Pain Does Not Affect The Physically Fit: Being physically fit and active does reduce the risk of back pain occurrence, but only to a certain extent. The truth is it depends on the kind and extent of physical activity that you do. Certain sports such as golf and volleyball are more likely to cause back pain. So irrespective of your level of fitness, take care of your back.

2. Rest Is Required To Cure Back Pain: Yes. In some cases bed rest may be required and recommended, but you should let your doctor decide this. Bed rest is recommended when pressure on the spinal discs need to be reduced or when mechanical stresses that are irritating the pain receptors need to be stopped. Meaning, not all cases of back pain require bed rest. Also, bed rest in excess can make the problem worse. It can lead to stiffness and a host of other problems.

3. A Warm Massage Will Cure It: No. The massage only provides temporary relief. It does not solve the issue. It reduces pain in the short-run. Also if your masseuse doesn’t know the cause of your pain s/he may end up aggravating the situation.

4. The Spine Needs Extra Protection As It Is Delicate: On the contrary, the spine along with the muscles surrounding it is extremely strong and yet flexible. In most cases after recovering from an injury, the spine does not need to be overprotected. However, it helps to strengthen the surrounding muscles and keep them flexible.

5. Sitting Up Straight Will Prevent Back Pain: To some extent, yes. It is much better than slouching or hunching. However, doing it for long stretches at a time will strain you back. If you sit up straight most of the day try and give yourself a break every now and then. Lean back once in a while and stand up occasionally.

6. X-rays and other scans are necessary for back pain diagnoses: In most cases a physical examination and study of medical history should be enough for an initial diagnosis. A doctor usually suggests an imaging scan or more sophisticated tests only if s/he suspects a more complicated problem. This is usually when there are specific symptoms or if the patient is not responding to the treatment.

7. Sleeping on a hard mattress prevents back pain: It doesn’t. Your mattress needs to support your back. If it’s too hard, it will force your spine into an unnatural position. And if it is too soft it won’t provide enough support. Both scenarios need to be avoided. You need to see what is comfortable for you and supports the natural curves of the body.

8. Surgery is the only cure: Many people believe that surgery is the only way to permanently cure back pain and all other treatments are temporary solutions for the pain. Nothing can be further from the truth. Majority of back problems can be cured without surgery.

Many a time, back pain can be prevented. Maintaining the right posture, learning how to correctly lift objects, avoiding repetitive movements, using ergonomically designed furniture and equipment are just a few ways to avoid back pain. We at The Spinalogy Clinic can guide you through these techniques. If however you are already afflicted with back pain, please consult us. The last thing anyone needs is a medical condition aggravated due to ignorance or misconceptions.