Common Myths About Back Pain
Myth #1: It’s Degenerative Disc Disease
So one of the most common things that patients come in with an awareness of already if they’ve had X-rays or had an MRI, is this idea of degenerative discs or degenerative disc disease? The reality is discs degenerate over time. They’re shock absorbers. And sometimes when they’re degenerating or bulging they’ll cause some pain, but many times they do not. So our whole goal in the first session is to try and determine exactly what actually is causing pain, whether the disks are involved or perhaps the joints or muscles or nerves in the area.
Myth #2: Don’t Exercise
Another common misconception that patients have is that they really shouldn’t be doing anything strenuous or exercising as long as there’s pain. The reality is oftentimes a component of the back pain that’s there, whether disc or joint-related is actually coming from the fact that the muscles aren’t being used effectively and doing their job. So exercise is a very important thing. And in particular, the appropriate types of exercise. Our goal in the first session or two is to try and determine exactly what types of exercises and stretches are going to help the most and encourage that in the right direction.
Myth #3: Rest Until the Pain Subsides
So one of the classic ways of treating back pain over the years used to be telling folks to just lay down and rest and you’ll get better eventually. The reality is this is actually counterproductive. The longer that you spend sitting and laying the weaker the muscles get and the worst a job they do at protecting you against the pain that’s there. So the reality of what we really need to do is get to the right exercise and stretches. So probably the best thing to do is to go ahead and get off the couch, get out of bed and come on and we’ll get you taken care of.