In our line of work, we hear a number of misconceptions about back pain which results in some people ignoring their pain or receiving the wrong treatment. This short article attempts to put some myths associated with back pain straight.
Back pain isn’t common
It has been suggested that around 2.8million people in the UK suffer from back pain every day of the year and as a result an estimated 10million working days are lost each year.
Back pain only affects men
Back pain affects men and women equally
I will not get back pain as I have a low impact lifestyle
There is actually no known single cause for back pain and it can actually be triggered by a number of things, which may be every day activities or can develop over time including: bending awkwardly or for long periods; lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling heavy objects; slouching or sitting in a slouched position (for example whilst watching TV); twisting awkwardly; overstretching or overusing muscles
Back pain is part of the ageing process
It is true that as we age we become more prone to certain types of back pain. However, with all the treatment options available today, back pain does not have to be part of the aging process. Working with the right specialist will enable you to establish the type of treatment right for you.
If I get back pain once I will always suffer from it
A high percentage of people with back pain make a very good recovery with the right treatment and although there may be instances where the issue reoccurs later in life – these instances are not serious. Only a small percentage of people may develop long standing problems later in life.
Back pain is caused by Injury
Diseases, disc degeneration, infections, and even inherited conditions can cause back pain.
I have just started getting back pain and should rest completely.
Evidence now suggests that resting completely can actually make the pain worse. Other treatments for short term back pain include staying positive, changing your sleeping position, exercise and lifestyle, reviewing your sitting position.
Being overweight means I have more cushioning around my bones and therefore I will not back pain
Too much upper body weight can put strain on the lower back and cause pain.
I must avoid exercise if I have lower back pain
Actually, regular exercise helps prevent back pain and in some cases we recommend an exercise programme for people who have recently hurt their lower back, which includes gentle movements that gradually builds up.
I need surgery for my back pain
A small percentage of people with back pain require surgery, it is estimated that around 90% of people can manage their problems by staying active, gaining an understanding of the pain and triggers it or visiting out clinic.
Manipulation techniques will not help my back pain
Most back pain is usually a result of mechanical or functional disturbance of the spine – problems that Osteopaths have been treating successfully for over 100 years. The NHS recognises the value of Osteopathy with GPs recommending spinal manipulation and acupuncture and referring patients, however, you do not need a GP referral to visit us and we can start treating you straight away after an initial consultation.
Seeing an Osteopath is a waste of time and are only interested in the one area
Trained Osteopaths treat the whole body and will support your ongoing care with advice and a clear exercise and lifestyle plan, offering advice on Taking regular exercise; preventing workplace injuries; lifestyle advice; other treatments with one of our other healthcare professionals.
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