Today I’d like to give you an overview of my newspaper article (in the East Anglian Daily Times), in which I dispel some myths surrounding back pain.
The language that some professionals use surrounding back pain can be inaccurate and sometimes scary and has the potential to simply fill a person with fear and anxiety rather than offer any help. A large proportion of our daily clients suffer with back pain, so it is something we are well versed in! Read on for some myths busted….
1. There is no such thing as a slipped disc.
Yes, it’s true! The discs in our spine are designed for shock absorption and to allow for movement of the spine, but they cannot physically slip out. There are too many ligaments, tendons and bones holding them in place. What they can do, however, is bulge and in severe cases herniate, causing the potential to irritate a spinal nerve (e.g. sciatica) but they stay in situ at all times.
2. An MRI is the best way to determine why you have back pain.
Whilst there is absolutely a time and place to get an MRI scan, in the vast majority of cases the scan results do not correlate with the person’s symptoms – in fact most people who have disc bulges or wear and tear on an MRI have NO symptoms whatsoever! Scans can cause fear that influences behaviour over how one moves which makes the problem worse.
3. Severe pain = severe damage.
Back pain can be bad. Very bad. And very scary if it strikes without warning! The severity of the pain however does not equal how much damage has occurred, but you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d sustained a large injury if you were suddenly rendered unable to move without pain, or suffering with pain at rest. A ligament sprain or small muscle tear can in fact cause severe pain, which can improve within 2 or 3 days. In many cases, pain that lasts longer than 2-3 weeks is more likely to be as a result of the movement patterns you have adopted in response to pain, rather than the original injury itself.
4. If you back pain you need bed rest.
When you get back pain, the natural instinct is to want to rest to prevent any pain. However, studies have shown that gentle exercises and movement are important to help not only prevention of back pain in the future, but also to improve pain when it is present. In fact, avoiding movement can create abnormal movement patterns which can cause pain to continue even after the initial injury has settled. Movement is medicine!
So there you have it, 4 common myths about back pain – I hope it sheds some light on what can be a very scary time for people who have back pain.
If you’d like to know which exercises could help YOUR back pain or have a chat with us, head to the contact page to tell us about your back pain.
Alternatively, check out our free report on ‘7 simple ways to ease your back pain’ by CLICKING HERE.