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Back Pain Myth Buster

If you are experiencing back pain and you are worried about your back here is a couple of back pain myth that we would like to share with you.

Myth 1   Moving will make my back pain worse  

This is a common mistake that most of my patients are doing after experiencing back pain. However, they might have been advised by their therapist, general practitioner or their friends told them.

They have a fear of twisting and bending, but it is essential to keep moving. Gradually increase your daily activity and stay active.

Myth 2   I should avoid exercise, especially weight training

Back pain shouldn't stop you from enjoying exercise or regular activities. In fact, Studies found continuing your exercise routine in combination with weight training program could help you to recover faster.

It is emerging that the amount of exercise you do is more important than the type of exercise. More than 30 minutes per day has the greatest health benefits but any amount you can manage will result in benefit. The benefits of exercise even include reducing the risk of developing back pain.

In Dublin Sports Injury Clinic we are confident that you will receive customized rehabilitation exercises to help you to stay pain-free and get stronger. We show you the exercises and we coach you to get familiar with exercise techniques. Meanwhile, we progress your exercises step by step to assist you to take over and continue your exercises to full recovery.

Myth 3   A scan will show me exactly what is wrong

If you are experiencing back pain and you are worried about your (CT Scan / MRI results). In most cases, the scan does not show exactly what is wrong with your back. Many research has been shown even people without back pain have changes in their spine (read more). So scans can cause fears that influence patients behaviour and cause the problem worse.

The scientific research is now suggesting that these are normal findings that increase with age, are not dangerous and often not painful. So think twice about getting a scan; and if you do get a scan and receive a long radiology report with scary terms, be clear that many of these things are common in people without pain.

Myth 4   Pain Equal damage

This was the established view but more recent research has changed our thinking. It often feels like persistence pain is due to ongoing or recurrent damage to your body. However, pain that remains after 3months often had more to do with changes in the nervous system (Read More).

Patient education will be part of our treatment. We believe understanding the pain is essential for every individual for faster recovery. While we explain how and why we perceive pain in a layman’s terms, we show you how to monitor your daily activity within a pain-free range of movement.

Myth 5  Your back is fragile

Most people think the spine is something that needs to be protected. This is incorrect and has led to the provision of information and treatments that promote fear, protective guarding, avoidance, and disability. Common examples include: "Your joint/pelvis/disc is slipped/out of place."

People often move differently when in pain, giving the impression that something has gone out of place. However, scientific research has clearly shown that these structures do not go 'out of place'or 'slip'. Some health professionals tell people that they are putting their structures back into place through treatments like manipulation. While many will experience short-term relief after these treatments, any benefit is due to changes in the nervous system and muscle relaxation - not due to realigning of discs and joints.

Myth 6  Weak CORE  cause back pain

While exercising the core (planks, sit-ups, Pilates) has become very popular, core- stability programmes are not more effective than other types of exercise for back pain (for example walking). In fact, research has shown that many people with back pain over-work their core muscles. This is a bit like clenching a fist with a sore wrist, which in fact can put more pressure on the back when it is sore.

The 'weak core' or 'your back/pelvis is unstable' theory has not been supported by science and can create a lot of unnecessary fear and needlessly complicates exercise treatment of back pain. Instead, moving in a relaxed, confident manner is more efficient.

Contrary to popular belief, there is no evidence that an ideal posture exists (Read More). While slouching is often blamed, there is no scientific evidence to support this as a cause of back pain. In fact, many people with back pain adopt very rigid upright postures and can't relax. The next time someone suggests to you that back pain is caused by slouching, look around and observe all the people without any back pain that can sit in a wide range of relaxed postures, in contrast to people with back pain who often sit in very rigid, uncomfortable looking postures.

Myth 7  Avoid bending and lifting

Like other body parts (for example the knee), the back is designed to move and adapt to many activities. It is important to be conditioned to lift, and shown how to lift heavy things correctly and safely. The back is designed to move and adapt to many activities. In the same way that a person can get a sore knee after doing an unaccustomed activity, people can get back pain when they lift something awkwardly or something that they aren't used to.

People will use different techniques to lift that they find more comfortable and efficient; like people will have a different running technique. The key thing is practice and letting your body get used to different loads and weights. A coach/trainer may be helpful.


Our Approach

Dublin Sports Injury Clinic is a Physical Therapy Clinic based in Pearse Street, Dublin 2. We have a high volume of patients who are treated with low back pain. Initially, our treatment will be focusing on helping our patients to get pain free as quickly as possible. We educate our patients to understand the cause of their back pain and how they can stay pain-free. Rehabilitation exercises will be customized for every patient and we show them the correct techniques and progression.

Next step 

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Source: Myths about back pain

Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. You can contact us if you would like to book an appointment or get some advice from our therapist.