Common myths about back pain!

Back Pain Myths | Osteopath in Liverpool | Back pain in Liverpool

The Chartered society of physiotherapists have some really great information on their site. Most recently I have come across these common back pain myths and posted them on my facebook page. As an osteopath we see different people everyday and I always find myself answering some of the same questions. The aim of this short blog is to highlight some of these myths and give some advice about what to do instead. All the myth busting is based on sound clinical research from the chartered society of physiotherapists so you know you are in good hands. The idea is i’ll keep this blog open and return to editing as new research comes out so that’s its even more relevant to you.

Myth #1 – Moving will make my back pain worse

Back pain in Liverpool

In the majority of cases this is simply not true and resting will actually have the more detrimental effect on your back pain. Some movements may be uncomfortable but it is well accepted that restoring movement and regular daily activities is very beneficial both to your initial symptoms and to lowering the risk of a reoccurrence.

I personally advise a patient to move as much as possible while remaining in a pain free range so not to irritate the injury. The movement creates a steady flow of fresh blood to the area needed for recovery and encourages the brain to allow for a greater range of movement to help prevent stiffness.

Myth #2 – I should avoid exercise, especially weight training


Most commonly you will here that with any injury you need to rest/immobilise. While this may be the case with certain problems such as breaks/fractures/ruptures etc, it is now more commonly accepted that exercise is one of, if not the best modality to treat low back pain, both at the acute and chronic stage. The research around exercise and low back pain points to a common theme that a variety of exercise is beneficial, including resistance based exercises like weightlifting. In simple terms, do what you enjoy and reap the benefits!

Myth #3 – A scam will show me exactly what is wrong


Basically, scan results do not always correlate with back pain symptoms and in a lot of cases the findings or changes on a scan that may indicate the cause of the problem for one patient, may be insignificant for another. There is also evidence that having a scan may actually make the situation worse. Having said that, as part of a full diagnostic criteria the usefulness of some imaging can not be ruled out.

Myth #4 – Pain equals damage


Pain is an extremely complicated sensation, so much so that entire qualifications are dedicated to understanding it, we still no very little about it. What we do know however, is that pain very rarely equates to the level of damage in low back injuries. As such it is an unreliable indicator of the extent of the injury due to human perception being very individual. Factors such as past experiences, sleep, beliefs,  psychological well being and exercise levels all influence the persons perception of pain and how much pain they feel.