5 Back Pain Myths Busted!

5 Back Pain Myths Busted!

1. Acute Low Back Pain is short-term.

Acute low back pain is not a short term problem. Robin McKenzie notes in his book, “Fix your own Back,” over 50% of patients suffer from re-occurring attacks or have chronic pain following their initial period of disablement. In 2004, a study by Enthoven, Skargren, and Oberg (2004), decided to follow patients for five years after their first acute episode of low back pain. They showed that most of the people who had low back pain also had significant ongoing problems that reduced the quality of their life.

Your low back and pelvis are the center of your body. It is the most important area to keep healthy and will influence every movement you do.To effectively treat your low back you must learn how to move. This is not something parents or even coaches know in our increasingly overstimulated, sedentary world.

2. Inflammation causes back pain

This belief is common but untrue. The sudden onset of low back pain is usually mechanical in nature. Hinging to pick up your kid, barbell, or laundry basket using your low back will sprain the supporting ligaments around the vertebrae. This is commonly referred to as a “slipped disc” but discs don’t actually slip. While there may be inflammation in the joint from trauma, the cause is not the inflammation. Poor movement  squatting, hinging, carrying, pushing, pulling is the real culprit.

3. Spinal manipulation is the most effective treatment for low back pain.

Spinal manipulation is used by chiropractors, osteopaths, and physical therapists. The research into manipulation for back pain shows contradictory results and the benefits are unproven. Additionally, passive treatments create patient dependence and are losing credibility. Proper treatment needs to be on teaching proper movement in the five main movements of life: push, pull, carry, hinge, and squat.

lower back exercises herniated disc


4. Ultra-sound treatment assist low back pain recovery.

In 1995, the United States Government Agency for Health Care and Research published a list of recommendations to guide health professionals involved in acute back pain. There is no scientific evidence the agency could recommend for diathermy and ultrasound. To this day, no fresh evidence has emerged that suggest the agency should change its recommendation. Passive therapies (where you are being worked on)  feel good but do not necessarily fix the cause.

5. Back pain is caused by arthritis or osteoarthritis.

Arthritis and osteoarthritis are often described as degeneration, wearing of the vertebrae, of the spine that occur as you age. Evidence shows that this degeneration does not cause back pain. X-rays of vertebrae show evidence that wearing in the joints of the spine is found in people with back pain and those without.

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