For anyone who has experienced acute or chronic back pain, you know how pervasive it can be, impossible to ignore yet difficult to treat. There are a number of myths about back pain that sufferers tend to buy into, but not all of them hold water from a therapeutic point of view.
Here are 5 common myths about back pain, and the truth that debunks them:
Myth: The spine is fragile and easy to injure. Truth: Your spine is supported by a strong and resilient network of muscles, tendons, and ligaments that make it strong, flexible and able to move through a broad range of motion. A regular exercise routine that includes strengthening, stretching and aerobic activity will help keep your spine healthy and protect it from injury.
Myth: Rest is the best way to treat back pain. Truth: While rest may be advised for a short while after an acute incident that causes back pain, prolonged periods of inactivity can cause muscles that support your spine to atrophy, and can actually worsen your back pain. Most rehabilitation programs for back pain include physical therapy and an active exercise program.
Myth: Back pain means there is some sort of structural damage that requires surgery. Truth: While an acute incident like a car accident can cause structural damage, most back pain, especially pain lasting more than 6 weeks, does not necessarily indicate damage. In fact, some back pain is caused by stress, and other psychological and social factors. Moreover, surgical interventions have a poor track record for resolving chronic back pain.
Myth: My back pain will only get worse as I grow older. Fact: Back pain from herniated discs and degenerative disc disease is actually more common in people aged 30 to 50, and it often subsides as you age.
Myth: An MRI scan will be able to identify the exact cause of my back pain. Fact: A medical history and physical exam are the foundations of back pain diagnosis. When it comes to back pain, an MRI scan often reveals nothing out of the ordinary, even if you are in a great deal of pain.
One More Nugget of Truth
Back pain often does not originate in your back at all, but comes from other issues, including:
Poor postural habits
Faulty movement mechanics
Deficient walking or running gait
Overweight or obesity
Lack of exercise
Back Pain Diagnosis and Treatment in NYC
If you are suffering from back pain and want to resolve it for good, the back pain specialists at NYDNRehab can help. We are equipped with state-of-the-art diagnostic tools, and we take a holistic approach to treating and resolving your back pain. You do not have to resign yourself to a lifetime of back pain. Contact NYDNRehab today, and see why we are the foremost back pain clinic in NYC.