There are many myths floating around about back pain. Here we seek to debunk some myths about back pain.
Here are 6 common myths about back pain revealed.
Myth 1: Back Pain Can Lead to Paralysis if Untreated
Reality: Your spinal cord starts at the base of your brain and runs along your cervical spine (neck) and thoracic spine (upper back) and ends at the lower part of the thoracic spine. While the majority of problems in this area are minor, spinal cord damage could come along with trauma or certain diseases that affect the cervical or thoracic spine. The spinal cord does not connect to the lumbar spine (lower back). The lumbar spine covers the largest amount of space for nerve endings. But even serious conditions like a large disc herniation are very unlikely to cause paralysis.
Myth 2: My Back Pain Will Get Worse with Age
Reality: Often people fear that if they are in pain in their 30s and 40s that it is just a preview of what’s to come. And the pain will continue to worsen as they age. The truth is that back pain is more common in younger individuals aged 30 to 50. This is even more true when discussing herniated disc pain or degenerative disc disease. If you are able to treat it properly you will find that the pain will often subside over time.
Myth 3: I Must Be Very Careful to Protect My Back to Avoid Further Pain
Reality: Too often people are too protective of their back, and in turn are more prone to injury and pain because they have not conditioned the muscles. Your spine needs a regular program of stretching, strengthening, and aerobic conditioning exercises. A sedentary lifestyle with no exercise will leave you with no strength or flexibility and will do more harm than good. Unless your Chiropractor instructs you differently, protecting your back is as simple as good posture and body mechanics, as well as appropriate instruction to ensure that you are exercising correctly.
Myth 4: Pain is a Fact of Life and I Should Just Tough it Out
Reality: Chronic, severe pain in the back and neck can be extremely debilitating and should be treated. If pain begins to interfere with your daily tasks it is time to seek professional help. Letting the pain grow can only make it worse. With back and neck pain, the ongoing discomfort can actually affect your healing and rehabilitation by limiting your exercise and increasing the chance of affecting your mental health (sleeplessness, stress, depression etc.).
Myth 5: An MRI Scan is Necessary to Know What is Causing My Pain
Reality: While an accurate diagnosis is needed to find the source of your back pain, a simple medical history and physical exam may be all that is needed. MRI scans do not always show conclusively what is wrong. They may show a problem such as a degenerated disc in a young, healthy adult with no back pain. They may also show no problem for someone experiencing a great deal of pain. A professional can develop a successful treatment plan for you based on a thorough medical history and physical examination. MRI scans are used when patients are not responding to treatment or display symptom patterns that indicate a need for an MRI or other tests.
Related Article: How Does a Chiropractor Find the Cause of Your Pain?
Myth 6: I have back pain, so I must stay in bed and rest.
Reality: When back pain or injury first occurs resting can help to calm down the pain and avoid further damage. But once the initial pain subsides activity becomes the best course of action. This activity can help speed healing by pumping out wastes, prevent re injury by strengthening muscles, increase flexibility, relieve depression by boosting endorphins, and help opposing muscle groups become more balanced.
Related Article: Relieve Back Pain and Increase Stability with Wall Squat Training
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