19 Jul Low Back Pain Myth Buster
Myth – Moving will make my back pain worse.
Although it is true that some movements can be uncomfortable when you have back pain, it is well established that returning to movement and work as soon as you are able, is better for recovery and preventing recurrence than bed rest. You will not cause any further damage with normal day-to-day movements even when they can be a bit painful.
This is not a new concept by any means but it is an unfortunate misconception which is continues to endure, due in part, to the complex nature of pain
Myth – I should avoid exercise, especially weight training
Exercise is generally accepted amongst all respected authorities to be the best modality for treating low back pain in both the acute and chronic phases.
Studies have shown great benefits and long-term safety of various types of exercises including high load resistance training.
Pilates in particular can be of huge benefit with acute an long term management of back pain with or without sciatica.
Myth – A scan will tell me exactly what’s wrong
There is a large and growing body of research that shows that not only do results of scans correlate poorly with symptoms in people with Low Back Pain, but also that most people without Low Back Pain have changes on scans and x-rays that do not cause any symptoms at all.
For these reasons and more, imaging alone isn’t capable of telling us exactly why someone is experiencing pain.
Of course this does not mean that all MRI scans are irrelevant in all cases, but it does mean that they are not always necessary or helpful. In fact, there is evidence to suggest that in some cases, having a scan can make situations worse.
Your physiotherapist will be able to refer you for an MRI if it is required, as well as refer you to a specialist if needed.
Myth – Pain equals damage
The level of pain experienced is very rarely proportional to the amount injury sustained to the back. Pain is far more complex than this, as pain levels are a reflection of many different factors.
For example, past experiences, general health factors, beliefs, sleep and exercise levels as well as psychological wellbeing, all play important parts in how much pain each individual might experiences.
There is no doubt that back pain, with or without sciatica can be severely painful and debilitating, however, just because your pain is increased with certain things, does not equal further damage.