Top 5 Myths About Back Pain
Our Fremantle Chiropractor, Dr. Nicole Ritchie addresses the Top 5 myths surrounding Back Pain.
Currently there is so much information available on the internet – How do we know what is true or not?
Using an evidence-based approach, Dr. Ritchie (Chiropractor) debunks some of the most common myths so you can achieve recovery faster & avoid the pitfalls of progress.
Why do we need to debunk these myths?
1. Get better faster
Avoiding inappropriate scans & treatments will help you start more effective care sooner, therefore the improvements can begin sooner!
2. reduce the cost
Reduced costs in 3 categories: personal financial costs, cost to your workplace/business and less burden on the healthcare system.
3. Prevent the pain from coming back
Focusing on the appropriate remedies like exercise may improve strength and prevent the pain returning
Myth 1 - "I should rest when I have back pain"
Rest is mostly counter productive when it comes to recovery from back pain.
There are situations where you must not rest or move – and these are severe injuries like fractures (where you are put in a rigid brace).
But for mild to moderate back pain (Sprains & strains) – gentle movement like walking or light stretching immediately will help you get better faster!
Myth 2 - "I need a scan to see what is wrong with my back"
Mechanical causes make up 95-98% of back pain (Muscles & joints)
Mechanical causes are not visible on X-ray or other images.
In more rare cases (2-3% of back pain) – Imaging is useful.
But once your Health Professional (Chiro, Osteo, Physio) examines you – they will be able to determine if you need this imaging!
Myth 3 - "Lifting weights damages your back/spine"
When done correctly (slowly increasing load) – strength training for your back can improve endurance, balance, flexibility & of course strength!
Always seek guidance on lifting technique if you are new to the skill
Strength training has also been shown to:
- Decreased the incidence of vertebral fractures.
- Decreased recidivism rate (rate of released prisoners returning to prison).
- Treats depression & fear of movement that is associated with back pain.
Myth 4 - "Pain is equal to tissue (muscle/joint/ligament) damage"
Pain can be perceived so differently from person to person depending on a number of factors (Past experiences, sleep, stress, hormones, general health).
What the research shows is that the level of pain you feel is rarely matched to the damage of tissues (muscles, joints, nerves).
The pain can be used as a guide to “somethings not quite right” and addressing the underlying issues!
Myth 5 - "There is one type of exercise which is best for my back"
Research has shown that walking can be as useful (if not slightly better) than doing specific strengthening for your back!
Now this doesn’t mean that Back strengthening isn’t important, it just means that moving in any way (at least in the beginning) can be very beneficial for your back!