8 Common Myths About Back Pain You Shouldn’t Believe

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Back pain is one of the world’s leading causes of disability. Each year, millions of people suffer from pain in their back, resulting in billions of dollars of lost productivity. It’s difficult to work when you suffer from back pain, so many people stay home rather than going to work when they experience it. But if you’re hoping to alleviate your back pain, you shouldn’t believe these eight myths.


#1) Sitting Is Good for Your Back

Many people assume that sitting is good for their back, but this isn’t necessarily true. Sitting is actually worse for your back than standing, and people who spend too much time sitting are more likely to experience back pain than their counterparts. When seated, there’s about three times more pressure placed against the intervertebral discs of your spine. As the pressure increases, it can pinch connective muscle tissue and nerves to cause back pain.


#2) Everyone Experiences Back Pain

Although it’s common — affecting about eight in 10 people at some point during their life — not everyone experiences back pain, nor should you assume that it’s a normal condition. Back pain is typically a symptom of an underlying problem. Unless you identify and treat the condition responsible for it, you’ll continue to experience back pain.


#3) You Shouldn’t Exercise With Back Pain

It’s perfectly fine to perform low-intensity exercises when you experience back pain. By moving around and stretching your back, some of your back pain may even subside. The key thing to remember is that you need to focus on low-intensity exercises that don’t place significant stress or pressure on your back and spine. Running, cycling, swilling and even lifting light weights are all great exercises. Performing heavy barbell squats, on the other hand, may aggravate your condition and worsen your back pain.


#4) Lying Down Is Good for Your Back

Lying down on a bed or couch can be good for your back, but it can also contribute to back pain. If you sleep on your stomach, for instance, the weight of your upper body will pull down your spine. If you typically experience back pain early in the mornings, this could be the reason for it. Whenever you lie down — whether to rest or sleep — position yourself so that you are either facing up or sideways. When lying down on your side, you can place a pillow between your legs to further support your spine and protect against back pain.



#6) Back Pain Is Always Caused by a Pulled or Overworked Muscle

Back pain can be caused by a pulled or overworked muscle. There are several muscles located in the back, some of which include the latissimu dorsi, erector spinae and rhomboid muscles. When one of these muscles is overworked, it will develop small tears that can manifest symptoms such as pain, tenderness and inflammation. Overworked muscles generally heal on their own within a few weeks. Until an overworked muscle has fully healed, though, you may experience the aforementioned symptoms. To assist your body with the healing process, refrain from performing any vigorous physical activity for at least 48 hours after the onset of the symptoms. There are other causes of back pain, however, including a herniated disc, blunt force trauma, degenerative disc disease and sciatica.


#7) Surgery Is the Only Way to Treat a Herniated Disc

A herniated disc is a common cause of back pain. Also referred to as a slipped disc, it’s defined as the herniation of one or more intervertebral disc nuclei. As the nuclei herniates out of the disc’s hard exterior, it may press against a nerve to cause back pain. Based on this definition, some people assume that surgery is the only way to treat a herniated disc. While there are surgical procedures to treat and repair a herniated disc, they aren’t always necessary. In many cases, a herniated disc will heal on its own. In others, the symptoms may subside or go away completely. Massage therapy has also been shown to reduce pain and muscle spasms in people suffering from a herniated disc. So, before your schedule a surgery procedure to treat your herniated disc, consider massage therapy first.


#8) OTC Drugs Don’t Work for Back Pain

Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs can certainly prove useful in treating back pain. If you have a pulled muscle that’s swollen and pressing against a nerve, an OTC anti-inflammatory drug like ibuprofen or aspirin may offer relief. Anti-inflammatory drugs suppress your body’s swelling activity. With that said, you should talk to your practitioner before adding any new OTC drug to your daily regimen. Even common OTC anti-inflammatory and pain relievers have a risk of adverse side effects when taken for a prolonged length of time.


Don’t let back pain prevent you from enjoying life. Contact us today to learn more about our chiropractic, massage therapy and other services that can help alleviate back pain.

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