As a Chiropractor I hear a ton of misconceptions and myths about back pain that ABSOLUTELY blows my mind. Back pain is among the most common cause of disability in today’s world and just about everyone will experience back pain in their lifetime. You are not alone! Even as a back expert I experience bouts of back pain too. In today’s article my goal is to weed through the clutter of myths and misconceptions on low back pain and show you the facts/truths. If you are among the millions of people who suffer from chronic low back pain it’s so important to know what is truly going to help your back pain get better. It’s as simple as just knowing what works and what doesn’t work to help you heal faster and believe it or not the healing process starts at home.
Before we get started I just wanted to let you know if you are someone who is tired of suffering from chronic pain and hasn’t had improvement or has seen every healthcare professional out there and you’re about to lose hope – you’ve come the right place and I am so excited to have you. What you know and how you treat your pain with ultimately effect how you heal. Don’t let the following myths about pain management keep you from feeling better.
MYTH #1: I have a bad back, so I should stay in bed and rest.
I am just going to start off with this statement – MOVEMENT IS MEDICINE! Prolonged bed rest is actually associated with higher levels of pain, greater disability, poorer recovery, and greater absence from work. I know what you’re thinking, “I’m in pain and any movement hurts”. I hear you but just remember pain is a signal not a hindrance. In most cases, stretching, walking, swimming are some ways to help keep you mobile and get you through back pain better than bedrest ever will. Say it with me out loud – movement is medicine!
MYTH #2: I need an X-ray or MRI to cure my back pain.
Thankfully in most cases diagnostic imaging is not necessary. A thorough clinical assessment (medical history and physical exam) by a Chiropractor is usually enough to identify the problem and get you back to normal. Chiropractors are well equipped to know how serious your back pain really is. TRUST me more often then not your back pain is curable without any imaging!
MYTH #3: I need surgery to cure my back pain.
There is a small percentage of people who may need a referral to the surgeon but this option should only be considered once a trial of conservative care (pain management treatments) was not successful. Most back pain, even chronic pain is not treated with surgery. Don’t be so quick to turn to surgery because once you go under the knife you can’t go back. Take time to try different natural, drug-free interventions such as Chiropractic care. I promise you will be shocked at the results.
MYTH #4: I hurt my back, so I’ll probably have a bad back from now on.
Remember pain is very common, but with a good pain management and back pain prevention protocol you can have a healthy back even with a history of back pain. Staying active, mobile, flexible and maintaining good posture (with sitting, lifting and bending) are great ways to keep your spine healthy and prevent further injury. Try to avoid lifting heavy objects and smoking, maintain a balanced diet and control your weight. Keep in mind most back pain goes away in a few days. If your back pain persists talk to your Chiropractor.