Low Back Pain Myths

If you're suffering from low back pain, you are not alone. Back pain affects up to 85% of the population at some time in their lives. 90% improve over a three month period but nearly 50% will have at least one recurrent episode.

Most people suffering from low back pain have a non-threatening problem that is caused by the way they have loaded their back in addition to factors such as lifestyle and stress. 

Advice for low back pain management has changed over the years and there are several myths that are important to dispel in order to understand what are the correct things to do in order to get better.

 

The first myth is that low back pain requires bed rest. A period of immobilisation often leads to more chronic pain because blood flow is restricted, muscles weaken and healing slows down. Keeping moving with gentle exercises such as walking, swimming, Yoga, Pilates or weight training can help immeasurably. Sitting in fixed positions for long periods has similar consequences.

The second and perhaps more important myth to dispel is that the intensity of pain signifies the seriousness of the injury. Perception of pain is a very poor indicator of underlying tissue damage. Pain perception can be altered by a host of factors such as stress, mood, sleep patterns and mindset in addition to a history of low back pain. 

The third myth that's worthy of discussion is that low back pain gets better on it's own, without changing the factors that have led to the injury. It's very difficult for healing to take place if the injury is poorly understood. It's advisable to see a specialist, such as an Osteopath, to try to determine the tissue causing the pain and the factors that have played a part in creating the problem. 

 

The fourth and final myth is that a 'weak core' is responsible for low back pain. Some people have incredible core strength but still suffer low back pain. It's just as important to realise when it's time to let the core muscles relax and not over-tighten which can be a cause of low back pain itself. 

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