Updated: Jun 2
Are you tired of dealing with your back pain? You know what I'm talking about because people in pain often linger for far too long before getting help. As a result, millions of Americans suffer from back pain. It's the most common type of chronic pain and can be debilitating. Unfortunately, it's also extremely confusing because there are so many myths out there about what causes it and how to treat it.
We have a lot of misconceptions when it comes to back pain, and these common myths can actually affect your recovery. With so much information about back pain, it can be hard to understand what's true and what's not. Fortunately, many of them can be cleared up with some research and the right help from a pain management NYC expert.
So in this blog, we'll talk about some of the most common back pain myths. Hopefully, this will clear some things up and help you eradicate unnecessary pain.
1. If you're active, you won't get back pain
Back pain is a common problem that affects many people at some point in their lives. While there are many different types of back pain, the most common cause is muscle strains or sprains. When one or more muscles are overused, they can become strained or torn from overextending them beyond their limits.
It can strike anyone at any age, and you can't avoid getting back pain simply by being active or staying fit. Even professional athletes can have back pain, but staying active may help ease or lessen your symptoms if you do get them.
2. Bed rest will help your back heal faster
If you're experiencing back pain, you may have been told to rest in bed as soon as possible. But is this really the best thing for your back? It's true that resting is often recommended for acute injuries such as sprains and strains, but this isn't necessarily true for chronic conditions or ongoing low-level back pain.
In fact, it just delays your recovery and can worsen your condition because it reduces your mobility and makes it harder to exercise, making your muscles weaker and leading to further injury. Plus, being sedentary allows your muscles to atrophy (waste away) and your joints to stiffen up, which makes it even harder for you to get moving again once the pain has gone away.
3. Back pain is a natural part of the aging process
Back pain is a common problem for many people. However, it is not a normal part of aging. In fact, if you have constant lower back pain, it may be a sign that something else is wrong with your body. A number of things cause back pain. It can result from an injury or trauma to the spine, such as whiplash, poor posture, or habits you have developed over time.
It can also be caused by diseases related to the spine, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, tuberculosis, tumors, and infection. Other causes of back pain include muscle strain and spasm; herniated disks; bone spurs; spinal stenosis; vertebral fractures; nerve root compression; degenerative disc disease; ruptured or bulging discs; osteoporosis; kidney stones, and scoliosis. It's important to seek medical help from a healthcare professional to determine the cause of your pain and treat it accordingly.
4. You're too young for back problems
Just because someone is young doesn't mean they aren't susceptible to back problems — especially if they're physically active or play sports that involve lifting heavy objects or falling down (think football players).
There are many reasons why someone could develop back pain as a teenager or younger person, including poor posture during sports activities. Back pain may be felt at any age but usually starts during adolescence and peaks between ages 20 and 50 years old.
5. Exercise can cause permanent damage to your back
False! Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your body as you age — it keeps your muscles strong, which helps prevent falls and broken bones, and improves balance, flexibility and endurance so you can keep doing the things you love for longer into life.
Stretching is one of the best ways to relieve back pain. However, if you're not sure how to stretch, ask a pain specialist or physical therapist for advice on specific stretches that target the muscles in your lower back and legs.
A physical therapist can create an exercise program that can help improve mobility and reduce risk factors for injury. These are some of the most common types of exercises a physical therapist might use:
Strengthening your core muscles. These include your abdominal muscles and lower back. Strengthening these muscles can help keep your spine stable during everyday activities, including lifting and bending.
Strengthening other muscle groups around your spine. For example, strengthening the muscles in your shoulders and hips helps protect these joints from being overused by your back muscles as they work to stabilize your spine.
Warm-up exercises before exercising or playing sports or doing other activities that put a strain on your back (such as yard work). These exercises can help prevent injury by improving flexibility, strength, and balance in areas such as hips, thighs, and ankles — all of which are important for protecting the spine when moving about.
Exercises that help improve posture, such as stretching exercises for tight hamstrings (the large muscles near the back of the thigh), which pull on the lower spine when tightened up too much; stretching exercises for tight chest muscles (pectoralis major), which pull on upper vertebrae; and strengthening exercises for weak abdominal.
6. Painkillers can treat back pain completely
While painkillers can help relieve your symptoms, they don't actually fix the problem. Instead, they just mask it for a little while. Painkillers also don't address other important aspects of managing your condition, like understanding why it happened in the first place and what steps you can take to prevent another flare-up. And if you take them long-term, they can actually make things worse by causing side effects such as nausea, constipation, or drowsiness.
There are other treatments available to manage back pain that is non-drug, non-invasive, and don't cause negative effects. It is important to consult a healthcare professional for you to find what works best for you.
7. You can "work through" back pain
While it's true that sometimes we need to push through our pain and power through a workout or long day at work, this is not always true for back pain. In fact, if you have low back pain or sciatica (pain radiating down the leg), it's best to stay off your feet as much as possible until your symptoms improve. If you need to exercise, take it easy first and gradually increase the intensity over time.
8. Back pain will go away on its own
You should never ignore signs of back pain. Back pain that lasts more than a few days could be a sign of a serious problem, such as osteoporosis or spinal stenosis, which can cause permanent damage to your spine if left untreated. If you have back pain, see a pain specialist for a thorough diagnosis as soon as possible.
Don't let these myths keep you from living your life to the fullest!
Back pain is a curse that many of us have to live with every day. Those of us who have experienced it are likely well aware of the challenges it can present and the pain it can cause. But if you've been living with it for quite some time, you may be harboring a few myths about the causes of back pain — or the things that work to help relieve it. It's time to put those myths to rest and reclaim your life!
Back pain is something that is a problem for a lot of people and causes a lot of issues. There are many reasons that back pain can occur, but there are a lot of options for treatments as well.
Hopefully, these back pain myths helped you debunk some of these misconceptions and get to the bottom of your back pain. If you're wondering where your pain is coming from, seek help from a pain management NYC specialist to obtain proper care and rehabilitation so you can return to living your life to the fullest.