Top 7 Back Pain Myths
1. I have acute back pain, should I stay in bed?
In the acute phase of a back injury, resting can be very useful to calm down the pain and avoid further damage to tissues. However, the acute phase generally lasts only a few days. Long term, activity modified for your condition will:
- speed healing by pumping out wastes
- prevent re-injury by strengthening muscles, balancing the strength of opposing muscle groups, and increasing flexibility
- relieve depression by generating endorphins.
2. I have to learn to live with my back pain
Each case of back pain requires individual treatment plans. However, there are a tremendous number of resources available for the pro-active back pain sufferer. If the pain is debilitating or interferes with your daily activities, seeking professional solutions sooner rather than later is crucial to long term healing. Being in pain takes a lot of energy, is stressful, and has negative effects on the immune system. For many, alternative health modalities, such as chiropractic treatments, are very effective in relieving pain.
3. I am told the pain is "all in my head"
All pain is real, even if a physical cause cannot be found. This is so because of the way the nervous system processes information associated with painful stimuli. For those in chronic pain, pain management specialists may help create a program with several components to keep things under control and allow normal living to continue.
4. I will need to see a Chiropractor every week in order to control the pain
During the beginning phases of treatment, your chiropractor may likely encourage you to come for treatment several times a week. The number of required treatments to see results should taper down over time, depending on your condition. If a care plan is followed diligently, healing will progress faster. Once your condition has stabilized, you may only need to see the chiropractor once a month or less to maintain the positive changes effected by the treatment and home program.
Certainly, with back pain, one must develop the ability to listen to the body and respect it's limitations. But don't give up hope! With a well designed, diligently followed exercise program that includes core conditioning and flexibility exercises, many people will find that it is possible to get back to most or all of their favorite activities. Just as important, using good body mechanics when doing your favorite activites can go a long way toward preventing more pain.
6. I am active and fit, so I won't get back pain
Physical activity is the way to go when preventing and healing back injury. However, habitual patterns of body usage often predispose an individual to back injury or pain. The balanced work of muscle groups throughout the body is a key to avoiding pain. Without balance, a build up of tension occurs in one area, causing weakness in other areas. A complete exercise program, including strength training and stretching for all muscle groups, is often quite effective for pain and injury prevention.
7. I have back pain so I will need surgery
Only a very small percentage of people who suffer with back pain will undergo surgery. Research shows that about 85% of back pain goes away with proper care. There are only a few instances where back surgery would be done without your voice in the decision-making process. These are medical emergencies such as a broken neck or if you have symptoms such as weakness in the legs that gets progressively worse and/or bladder and/or bowel incontinence caused by the back problem.