Since opening in 2010, we’ve had many patients come to us with little to no knowledge about back pain. With an astounding 80% of adults likely to experience back pain at some point in their lives, we’d like to change that and help educate people on back pain facts and fiction.
Want to test your back pain knowledge? Keep reading.
Lifting heavy things is bad for your back.
Fiction. Lifting heavy things isn’t necessarily bad for your back. The way you lift the item often matters more than the weight of the item (within reason).
To lift an item properly, face the item and bend at your knees. Grip the item and lift, ensuring your back is straight. Don’t twist or turn while lifting, as it can place unnecessary stress on your spine. You’re going to want to hold the item close to your body. The further the item is from your body, the more it stresses your spine.
Resting is the best way to treat back pain.
Fiction. Believe it or not, resting can actually worsen pain. Inactivity often leads to muscle stiffness, which in turn can lead to an unhealthy cycle of pain and inactivity. While short rests can help with acute pain, we generally advise against more than a couple days of bed rest.
The more you weigh, the more likely you are to experience back pain.
Fact. Being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing back pain, joint pain, and muscle strains. Your risk of developing low back pain is heightened even more if you carry extra weight around your midsection as that weight can pull your pelvis forward, straining your low back.
Carrying around extra weight can also put unwanted pressure on other spinal structures, like your discs. Overweight and obese people are more likely to experience sciatica or low back pain due to a herniated disc or pinched nerve.
You shouldn’t exercise while experiencing back pain.
Fiction. Exercise can be great for both preventing and relieving back pain. Exercise provides nourishment for your spinal structures by helping pump nutrients into your spine’s soft tissues and drain toxins. Exercising at least 3-5 times per week for 30 minutes can help you relax and improve your mood with the release of feel-good endorphins.
Alternative back pain treatments can provide pain relief.
Fact. Alternative treatment methods have been proven to be successful. These treatment options can include chiropractic care, massage therapy, and meditation.
If you or a loved one is suffering from back pain, please don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with one of our board-certified surgeons.