5 Myths of Back Pain

According to the North American Spine Society, approximately 80% of Americans will experience some kind of back pain in their lives. However, 90% of those folks will likely get better without treatment or by using conservative treatments such as anti-inflammatory medications, exercise and physical therapy. Because back pain is so prevalent there are a myriad of solutions touted on-line and elsewhere. Next time you bemoan your aching back, take this advice to heart.

Pain relief or management by painkiller or other treatment of chronic back pain, road sign billboard...

Myth 1:Exercise Causes Back Pain: Sure, strenuous “weekend warrior” exercise can cause back pain, but regular, moderate exercise can help you avoid pain. Without exercise, muscles become weak, leading to back pain and a higher risk of injury.

Myth 2:Bed Rest Is Best: Unless it’s a severe injury, avoid extended periods of bed rest as it can exacerbate the situation. Spine experts recommend no more than a day or two of bed rest followed by moderate, gentle exercise.

Myth 3:Hot Bath Cures All: Sounds wonderful, eh? A nice warm bath actually does not help reduce back inflammation. In fact, experts say it can increase the inflammatory response in an acute injury. Ice application is a better option during the first 48 to 72 hours after injury. However, you are dealing with chronic pain, not accompanied by inflammation, a warm bath is fine.

Myth 4:Back Pain Happens Without Warning: Here’s the hard truth, your back doesn’t suddenly “go out.” Instead, it’s likely a cumulative occurrence related to poor conditioning, weight gain, incorrect posture, and poor lifting mechanics.

Myth 5:Back Pain is Normal: Back pain should not be part of your daily life, whatever your age. Still, as we age, we are at a higher risk for certain types of painful, chronic back conditions. Check with your healthcare practitioner for the best treatment plan that will help you enjoy life again.