The Mythology Of Back Pain

There is so much information about back pain its difficult to know what’s real. It’s estimated 8 out of 10 people will experience back pain in their lifetime, and back pain I imagine is prehistoric it’s been around a while..

Confusion is rife with so much advice out there that’s good, bad and ugly! Hopefully you’ll get that, my wife wouldn’t has she has never seen the Clint Eastwood classics…

Anyway as I digress people’s path to getting a cure or simply relief is varied, back pain occurs for a number of reasons, (that’s for another time) often its a long and twisting route to getting a precise analysis and a good treatment, unless you come to Deansgate Osteopathic Clinic or Manchester Osteopaths of course.

So what is some of the mythology with back pain?

Here’s my top list that I get asked about quite regularly..

Pain in the back is not curable

Alternatively Can we cure it? I get this asked many times and the answer just isn’t that simple, it’s great when someone comes in and all pain disappears after one visit but that isn’t the norm.

This really does depend on the diagnosis and very much lifestyle choices, many people need to manage chronic or injured spinal issues, however a lot of people can eliminate back pain full stop with some treatment, lifestyle changes such as exercise, posture, nutrition and emotional aspects of life.

One treatment will cure it

This is incredible common and ironically the same as the opposite argument above, and occasionally it does happen however results are dependant on the same things. Unless you come in on Sunday when I borrow Aarons magic wand hahah..

You need to stop your sports and activity

This is a myth and an annoying one at that, you simply need to balance ability, your body condition and sports untaken. I myself being closer to 50 now simply cannot compete with the young up and coming 20 year old competitors who are full of youth. Mind you a bit of experience and treachery can often beat youth and skill..LOL Now even though in my head I can still cut it I need to remember it takes more effort and longer to recover. But the point is this; exercise and activity is vital to keeping you fit and moving, the key is to find something you enjoy and do it with passion, support it, cross train to balance it and ultimately keep active.

Obviously, you have to consider your body and particularly back pain, modifying where necessary, occasionally you may need to change to a less competitive club or all together a different sport and that’s ok, just keep moving and keep active.

Back pain leads to the paralysis

Without serious injury most back pain does not cause or lead to paralysis, the spine is designed with mobility in mind so maintaining correct movement should not create big issues.

If I exercise I won’t get back pain

If only this was true, however the fitter, stronger and more mobile you are the better your body responds to daily activities. With exercise its necessary to look at the type of exercise and the affect on the body, such as the strong rotation of a golf swing, the tackles from football, the overuse of one arm in racket sports. All these can create imbalances in the body leading to back pain so again its back to mobility, flexibility, strength and endurance with balance, if you look at many professionals they undertake difference training regimes to support their sport.

Bed rest is the best solution for back pain

When you are in severe pain you do need to rest, recuperate and recover particularly with intense pain, so initially rest it is, though its not necessary constant bedrest.

Bed rest can help alleviate aches: however in the long run, it is only movement from physical activity that enables your body to recuperate more efficiently.

The positive affects of exercise are numerous;

Help the lymphatic system and eliminate metabolic waste.

Improve nutrient supply by keeping things moving.

Prevents and helps manage further risk from injury.

Exercise gives an endorphin release, runners often call this “runner’s high” being a mood-lifter it can help fight the depression and emotional aspects of injury.

Do I have to have surgery

Most mechanical back pain issues do not require surgery. If your pain is severe your doctor will discuss the options with regards to what tissue is causing what symptoms, investigate the severity, options and outcomes.

Surgery is usually the last resort and can be the ‘if all else fails” to resolve the issue.

In reality, many cases do not need surgery, with pain medication, lifestyle changes back pain can be resolve or managed.

Should I sleep on the floor

No as a rule; when you sleep you need to be comfortable without further aggravating the pain, if you are more comfy on the floor it says a lot about your bed 🙁

Beds need to be supportive and allow movement, they need to support the natural curves in you body, not cause additional pressure or collapse into the lumbar curve, which could be the case of a hard floor.

I need to use hot and cold treatment

Yes; these can be really helpful in relaxing muscles or managing inflammation, and though they do not give a long term cure they can play an important part in you management and recovery.

You do need to know when to use them and what on..

Diet has no effect on backpain

Totally false; food, nutrition and hydration play a massive role in how you perform, recover and grow.

You are what you eat and digest, every aspect of your body requires nutrient supply and fluid. Your back is no different.

Food intake provides the components for energy production, building blocks and elements to physiological processes. We require the right quantities and balance for a healthy body with a significant effect with regards to back pain recovery. As much as good nutrition is required with good hydration poor food and fluid can inhibit recovery and slow the process down.

The impacts of nourishment on aches and pain are not just for the long haul, there can be a short term relief, particularly foods that may create sensitivity or allergic reaction.

The pain in the back is just mental and not physical

Have you been told the ache is all in your mind? Do not trust this at all, and do not let this prevent you from looking for treatments. There is no any ache or pain that is not real, regardless of whether you can’t locate a physical reason for your outrageous lower backache.

That pain you are feeling is as real as your fingers. Therefore, the earliest you find the solution for your pain, the happier you are for it.

If in doubt consult with your doctor who can discuss options and treatments and hopefully help you recover, and don’t forget we’re also here.

My final comments;

With back pain you need a thorough assessment, diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and management plan.

Understanding the what why and how will help you make the lifestyle changes and choose the right treatment for you, so get the misguided judgments out of your mind and be sure to look for a solution that would work best for you.

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