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.
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.