Myths & Facts about Low Back Pain
You might feel a sharp stab, a dull ache or somewhere in between, but regardless of how it feels, low back pain is very common, and can be debilitating if not treated properly. Unfortunately, studies show that many people with back pain don’t get treatment that aligns with evidence-based practices. Or they don’t get treatment at all!
As common as low back pain is, the myths about this injury are equally as common. Let’s set the record straight by debunking some myths and reinforcing some truths about it!
Myth #1: You should rest and avoid all activity if you are experiencing low back pain.
While some form of rest and modifying painful activities can be helpful, total rest can actually make things worse by causing muscle stiffness and weakness. You may need to take it easy for a few days, but light exercise is still recommended to accelerate your healing. Take your dog out for a short walk or go on an easy bike ride. Simply put, make sure you’re not just laying down or sitting all day.
Myth #2: Exercise, especially heavy lifting, is bad for low back pain.
Regular exercise actually prevents back pain! Most doctors recommend exercise for those who have recently hurt their back. If done properly, exercise can help your discomfort go away and keep it from coming back. As for lifting heavy weights, it’s not necessarily about how much you lift, but how you lift.
Myth #3: Spinal manipulation alone will fix your low back pain.
While spinal manipulation is an effective, non-drug treatment for back pain, research has shown that when performed in conjunction with regular exercise and physical therapy it can be much more effective! People usually feel great after leaving the chiropractor, but in most cases, that relief only lasts a few days. For a long-term solution, don’t rely solely on spinal manipulation.
Mind blown? We hope so! Now that we’ve enlightened you on some common myths for low back pain, let’s discuss a few important facts about this injury.
Fact #1: Very few cases of low back pain actually require surgery.
Research has shown that only about 5% of those with back problems end up needing surgery. Don’t let the fear of surgery be the reason you don’t go see a physician or physical therapist! There are so many more ways to relieve your pain and keep it from coming back.
Fact #2: Back pain CAN go away!
You don’t have to live with low back pain forever! Adequately treating the underlying cause of your discomfort and making lifestyle modifications to rehabilitate the spinal structures can help provide long-term pain relief. Over time, recurrences or flare-ups are possible, but seeking timely treatment can help decrease the severity of symptoms. Appropriate treatment will also help decrease the frequency of recurrences, and/or significantly reduce the pain over time.
Fact #3: About 80% of the population will experience back pain at some point in their lives.
While this might not be the most encouraging fact, it reminds us that we aren’t alone in our pain. BUT don’t use this fact as a “woe is me”. Like we’ve already touched on, your back pain doesn’t have to last forever!
Here at Kinetic Sports Medicine and Performance, we treat individuals with low back pain very often. Don’t let your low back pain take you away from doing the things you love. Reach out to us today for a free injury consultation so we can help get you on the road to recovery!