Back pain is something almost, if not everyone, experiences at some point in their life. It could be a result of aging, injury, pregnancy, bending down to make your bed at just the wrong angle...or any number of reasons. However, back pain doesn’t have to keep you from living a full life or from partaking in physical activities you once enjoyed.
These are 3 misconceptions about back pain you should be ignoring, and a few things to try on your way to feeling like your best self again.
1. Movement Hurts, So It Must Be Bad
According to the University of Iowa (1), just because a certain movement or activity causes discomfort, does not mean that it is causing damage. In fact, it could be quite the opposite. A little discomfort is not a bad thing, and training your brain to not over-respond to pain associated with physical activities, may actually help you.
For example, pushing through a doctor recommended stretch that is going to increase your range of motion. The spine is able to absorb a lot of energy and unless you’ve been involved in a major accident of some kind, regular exercise monitored by your doctor, usually helps to keep your spine healthy and prevent chronic pain. The University of Iowa (2) says that acute back pain caused by minor injuries, usually dissipates in about 6 months. Talk to your doctor about what exercises you can do to regain mobility.
2. Back Pain Requires Expensive Medical Procedures
The use of our backs is such an important part of our daily lives, right? So when our backs aren’t working properly, we understandably, want to run out and find out why. While taking an active role in your health is great, sometimes paying for an out-of-pocket/network MRI, X-Ray or even surgery, can do more harm than good. The Joint Corp. (3) says that by using a combination of physical therapy, rest and possibly chiropractic care, again, all based on the course of action you’d personally like to take, 90% of herniated discs will heal on their own. In regards to MRIs and X-rays, those procedures may be able to show the source of the back pain, but cannot show potential causes such as weak muscles, a condition you wouldn’t need surgery for. An X-Ray or MRI should be saved for when you’ve been experiencing back pain that doesn’t improve for a prolonged period of time after implementing healthy diet, exercise and lifestyle changes and exploring alternative treatments.
3. Back Pain is Genetic & Will Only Increase With Age
According to Spine-Health.com (4), the vast majority of spine and neck pain are not passed down through genetics, but are rather caused by your environment and activity. Psychological factors can even play a role in pain, so try not to get caught up in any perpetual thought cycles that center around pain being your norm.
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(1), (2) https://uihc.org/health-topics/common-misconceptions-about-chronic-back-pain