Back pain myths

Person with back pain

In the UK, back pain is one of the most common reasons people miss work, and is the leading cause of disability worldwide.[1] With something so common, it is easy for people to get confused about back pain, and the mass information out there can be overwhelming and lead to more confusion

One of the easiest ways to tackle back pain is to keep moving, but sometimes these myths and misconceptions – even fear – can stop people from doing exercise or seeking proper treatment.

An extremely common misconception about back pain is that people think it’s not going to happen to them! In fact, 4 out of 5 of us will be affected by back pain at some point in our lives. That is a huge statistic, yet many carry on in their daily lives, ignoring the signs and symptoms, which in turn, can lead to more pain.

Here are some top myths about back pain debunked:

MYTH: Exercise will cause or worsen back pain 

Staying bed or sofa bound with back pain can be one of the worst things you can do! Without exercise, muscles become weakened, deconditioned and stiff. To reduce back pain you should rest, calm the pain (e.g. the use of an ice pack) followed by gentle exercise which your healthcare or musculoskeletal practitioner can give you if they feel it’s appropriate for your symptoms.

MYTH: If you see a spine specialist you will end up getting surgery

Did you know that spinal surgery is only recommended in about 1% of cases! In most instances, the treatments recommended will be non-surgical, such as exercise, physical therapy or visiting a musculoskeletal expert.

MYTH: Back pain is a normal part of aging

Many people consider back pain to be a typical part of getting older, but it shouldn’t be a normal part of your day. We all get aches and pains as we age. Having said that, there are options to ease and relieve back pain available today you shouldn’t suffer in silence. Do some research. Ask friends and family what has helped them. Sometimes finding the right treatment to help alleviate your back pain is a trial-and-error task, albeit one that will reward you with a better quality of life.

 

[1] https://www.nhs.uk/news/2014/03March/Pages/Back-pain-leading-cause-of-disability-study-finds.aspx

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