There are many common beliefs about low back pain which can be unhelpful. According to the British Journal of Sports Medicine, this is what you need to-know:
1. PERSISTENT BACK PAIN IS SCARY, BUT RARELY DANGEROUS
It’s distressing and sometimes disabling, but its rarely life threatening and it’s unlikely you’ll end up in a wheel chair.
2. GETTING OLDER IS NOT A CAUSE OF BACK PAIN
3. PERSISTENT BACK PAIN RARELY MEANS SERIOUS TISSUE DAMAGE
Backs are strong. When we’re injured, our tissue heals within three months so if you’re in pain longer than that, it can mean there’s other contributing factors. Back pain can begin with everyday movements, stress, tension,fatigue, inactivity or new types of movement which can make the back sensitive.
4. SCANS SELDOM SHOW THE CAUSE OF BACK PAIN
Scans are only helpful for a handful of people. Scary sounding things are often reported following scans such as disc bulges, degeneration and arthritis. However, the presence of these issues does not predict how much pain you feel or how disabled you are. In fact, many people without back pain can present with these issues when scanned.
When pain persists, it is common that the spine and surrounding muscles become sensitive. This pain shows how sensitive your structures are NOT how damaged they are. It is safe and normal to feel some pain when you start to move and exercise, this tends to settle down as you become more active – and is one of the most effective ways to treat back pain
How we sit, stand and bend does not cause back pain – though they maybe more painful. There are variety of postures which are healthy for the back. So it’s safe to relax!
7. BACK PAIN IS NOT CAUSED BY A ‘WEAK CORE’
Weak core muscles do not cause back pain. People with back pain often tense their core as a protective response! Being strong is important when you need your muscles to switch on, but being tense all the time, isn’t helpful. The same way lifting weights makes muscles stronger, moving and loading make the back stronger and healthier. So running, twisting, bending and lifting are safe if you start gradually and practice regularly.
8. BACKS DO NOT WEAR OUT WITH EVERYDAY LOADING AND BENDING
The same way lifting weights makes muscles stronger, moving and loading make the back stronger and healthier. So running, twisting, bending and lifting are safe if you start gradually and practice regularly.
9. PAIN FLARE UPS DON’T MEAN YOU’RE DAMAGING YOURSELF
Pain flare-ups can be painful and scary, but they’re usually not related to tissue damage. Common triggers include poor sleep,stress, tension, low mood, inactivity or unaccustomed activity. If you have a flare up, stay calm, relax and keep moving!
Injections, Spine injections, surgery and strong drugs like opioids aren’t very effective for persistent back pain long term. They come with risks and can have unhelpful side effects. Finding low-risk ways to put you in control of your pain is key
If you are suffering with back pain and would like to speak to one of our chartered Physiotherapists call us on 021-4633455 or book an appointment now.
Mark Canning, Physiotherapist
This blog is provided for information purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Seek the advice of your doctor with any queries regarding a medical condition.