4 Back Pain Myths

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Struggling with back pain? We want to debunk 4 of the most common myths about back pain!

By Leslie Abrahams, Physiotherapist

4 Back Pain Myths

This month we are focusing on back pain, posting regular bits of advice on how to manage back pain and debunking the myths that come along with back pain! We would love to answer any questions you might have about back pain, so feel free to get in touch via email, phone or social media with any questions you might have!

Today we are debunking 4 back pain myths. Have a read and let us know if YOU have ever believed any of these myths?

Myth number 1

Discs can slip out of place.

Sitting between the vertebrae of the spine are soft discs that provide flexibility and shock absorption to the spine. In the past, many health professionals told patients that these discs had ‘slipped’ as a way of explaining their pain. This is not entirely accurate as these discs are actually very secure and rarely ‘slip’ out of place. Discs may slightly bulge or tear, and more often than not these injuries will heal without any permanent damage and exist in many without any pain at all.

Myth number 2

If you have lower back pain, you should stay in bed.

When back pain is felt, our natural instinct is to rest, avoid movement and wait for the pain to pass. However, studies have shown that being active and performing targeted and gentle exercises can help improve lower back pain. If you aren’t sure what kind of exercise you should be doing, your physiotherapist can guide you with a specified, targeted exercise programme.

Myth number 3

Severe pain means severe damage.

Pain that is severe and strikes suddenly without warning can be alarming. If this happened to you, it would be understandable to assume that you must have sustained a serious injury. However, the fact is that the spine is surrounded by nerves so is a particularly sensitive area of the body and pain in this area can be very strong without causing significant damage. In most cases, symptoms that last longer than 2-3 weeks are caused by changes to your movement patterns in response to the pain, and not the original injury itself.

Myth number 4

A scan will show exactly what is wrong.

Sometimes a scan will show something, but more often than not it won’t show anything! Even people without back pain experiences changes in their spine, so scans can increase fear that the problem is worse than it is, influencing behaviour and ultimately making the problem worse! Did you know that 77% of 70 year olds have disc bulges evident on their MRI’s but don’t experience any pain!

Did you previously believe any of these myths!? If so, don’t worry you aren’t alone! These are all super common things we hear in clinic alot.

If you are suffering with back pain, get in touch! The sooner you get it seen to the easier the recovery will most likely be.

We are also hosting a FREE Virtual Back Pain workshop on Wednesday 23rd February where you will learn how best to manage your back pain. If this sounds of interest, get in touch!

Leslie Abrahams