When it comes to persistent low back pain, the myths about causes and treatment are almost as widespread as the occurrence of the condition itself. Before you come to any incorrect conclusions about your back pain, it's in your best interest to understand the most common myths that you're likely to hear and the plain truth behind them. Here's a look at several myths that you may have heard about back pain and the truths that you need to know.
Myth: You Should Always Sit Up Straight
Truth: Although slouching can be problematic for your back, sitting up very straight for a long period of time can be just as damaging. It can put unnecessary strain on your back muscles. If you spend a lot of time sitting, you should make an effort to vary your position regularly and stretch frequently. One stretch that can help is to sit with your feet flat on the floor and lean back in your chair. This will curve your back slightly to stretch your spinal muscles. Even better, stand up and walk around frequently, such as when you are on the phone or dictating work to your computer.
Myth: You Shouldn't Lift Heavy Items
Truth: While it's true that you shouldn't try to lift anything more than you're comfortable with, your risk of back injury isn't necessarily related to how much weight you're lifting. Instead, your injury risk is more directly connected to how you are lifting it. Always use your legs instead of your back to bear the weight. Squat down so that you're as close to the item as possible, then push yourself upward using your leg muscles, not your back. Don't bend or twist while you're doing it – that is one of the biggest injury culprits.
Myth: Bed Rest is Best for Healing
Truth: Resting your back may be the best approach for some acute injuries or muscle strains, but it isn't necessarily right for every injury. In fact, a day or two in bed can worsen back pain in many cases. When you stay in bed, it keeps those muscles from moving at all, which can cause your body to stiffen and cause more serious pain.
Myth: Back Pain Means You Have a Back Injury
Truth: Pain can be caused by back injuries, including acute muscle injuries and similar issues. However, it can also be caused by conditions such as disc degeneration, kyphosis and other health concerns that are not injury-related.
Myth: Exercise is Dangerous for Back Pain
Truth: Regular exercise can help to strengthen your core muscles, including those along your spine. When your spine gets more muscle support, it can help ease tension and pain. A physician or occupational therapist can help you to identify the best stretching and muscle-toning exercises to keep your spine supported.
Myth: The Severity of the Pain Indicates the Severity of the Damage
Fact: If you're dealing with acute lower back pain, the severity of the pain may relate to the severity of the injury. But, when you're struggling with chronic back pain, the severity of the pain is not necessary connected to the severity of the damage to your back. In some cases, even small curvatures or disc problems can cause serious pain and mobility issues.
As you can see, the myths about back injuries and back pain are easy to believe. While some of them are based partially in truths, it's important that you have the whole picture before you make any attempt to address a back problem. The best thing you can do is talk with a professional from a site like http://www.swfna.com if you're suffering from back pain, but until you can do that, knowing these truths can help you avoid making other mistakes.