Common Misconceptions About Back Pain

Back pain is one of the most common health complaints in the world, and a leading cause of disability. Each year across the world, millions of individuals miss work and social commitments due to chronic back pain, lower back pain in particular.

Suffering From Chronic Pain

common misconceptions back painAny form of chronic pain can cause a wide range of negative side effects, both physical and psychological. Suffering from chronic pain can be extremely debilitating, even simple daily routines such as getting dressed and putting shoes on can become a challenge. Feeling constant pain disrupts day to day activities affecting both the individual's work and social life – this is stressful. The patient may also develop a fear of worsening their pain and as a result withdraw and isolate themselves, avoiding any situations which could potentially provoke painful symptoms – this can lead to low mood, depression and feelings of anxiety and isolation. Ultimately in many patients this becomes something of a vicious circle – feeling pain is stressful and depressing, whilst some patients suffering from severe depression can also experience painful symptoms.

As previously mentioned back pain is a common complaint, many of seek advice from our family, friends and the internet – unfortunately there is a lot of misguiding information available.

Common Myths

Myth 1: Bed Rest

In the past total bed rest was recommended as a remedy for back pain, we now know that it is essential to remain active. Many sufferers may limit their movements for fear of the pain caused by bending and twisting, however, it is best for patients to keep on the go and increase their movement gradually.

Myth 2: Avoid All Exercise

Following an initial injury or painful episode, it is advisable to avoid any extreme activities which may further aggravate and cause more pain – however, avoiding all exercise is not advisable. It is widely agreed today that resuming activities and exercise will help improve the condition.

Myth 3: Back Pain is Caused By Injury to the Spine

In some cases, this is true, direct impact to the spinal cord or surrounding tissue can cause severe back pain. There are however, many other triggers – degenerative spinal diseases, infection are all common causes.

Myth 4: The Spine is a Fragile Area

The spine and its surrounding bones and tissue form an especially robust and flexible system, which can tolerate a number of different conditions. Age related wear and tear, poor posture and habits, injury and infection are all responsible for many back related conditions. The back is the platform for a wide range of movement and to help maintain its condition, back strengthening exercises are advisable.

Myth 5: The Worse the Pain, the Worse the Damage

Pain is a complex and highly individual experience, which differs from person to person. The degree and intensity of the pain felt is often disproportionate to the pain felt in the back.

Myth 6: A Scan or X Ray Will Find the Cause

In some cases, X rays, MRI and CT scans can provide invaluable information when forming a diagnosis. In other cases, the opposite can be true – in fact, X rays and scans may reveal changes to the back in individuals not suffering from painful symptoms. Therefore, the change may not be relevant to any painful symptoms.

Contact Dr. Mark Miller for any back pain related questions, and avoid myths like these.

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