The Myths Surrounding Back Pain (And What’s Best For It)

back pain myths dispelled by our london chiropractorBeing a busy London chiropractor, I see dozens of patients each week from a variety of different backgrounds.  My clients range from tradesmen and white collar professionals to active sportspeople and the elderly.  The one thing that many of my clients have in common is back pain.

When talking to a patient with back pain, I will start the session with a series of questions.  These questions, in combination with a thorough physical examination, helps me identify the source of their back pain.  Once I have identified the real reason for the pain occurring, I can provide the client with a treatment for back pain that is effective and appropriate.

However, when talking to my clients I often hear them repeat common myths relating to back pain.  Some of these myths can slow a client’s recovery or, in the worst case scenario, prevent a complete recovery from back pain.  This post will share a few of the common myths to help you avoid these common mistakes.

Myth #1 — Back pain won’t happen to me

I often have clients who are quite surprised to be experiencing back pain.  That’s because they have believed the common myth that back pain doesn’t happen to everyone.

In all likelihood, you will experience back pain at some point in your life, either from an injury or an illness.  Here are a few statistics to illustrate this point clearly:

  • 5 million people in the UK suffer from back pain every day of the year
  • Management of back pain results in more than 4.6 million medical appointments each year
  • In the UK, back pain is the leading cause of disability

When you do experience back pain, it’s important to seek medical attention quickly, either from an experienced London chiropractor like myself or a general practitioner.  This will help you obtain speedy treatment for back pain that is appropriate and effective.


Myth #2 — Rest is always best when you have a bad back

This is a common myth, particularly amongst tradesmen.  It’s often assumed that resting for a couple of days will give the back time to heal up and relieve back pain.  Unfortunately, many types of back injuries and diseases that affect the spine will not be healed with rest alone.  If you have one of these injuries or diseases, chiropractic treatment for back pain will be required.

Also, staying active can also be more effective than resting.  Several studies have confirmed that walking, stretching, and swimming can help you remain limber and relieves back pain more effectively than lying down.


Myth #3 — If you are in a lot of pain it means your back is severely damaged

There are many types of back pain, from generalised aches and mild pain through to acute pain that feels like someone is poking your spine with a hot needle.  Many people assume extreme pain means that serious damage has been done to the back.  However, in many cases, acute pain can be treated in as little as a few weeks with proper chiropractic care.  Experiencing high levels of pain does not always mean that you have a serious back problem that will take years to recover from.


Myth #4 — Losing weight will stop your back pain

This is a common myth amongst overweight people.  Although being overweight is a risk factor for back pain, many other factors might be at play.  Your back pain may be caused by poor posture, an old injury, being inactive, poor sleeping position, or lifestyle factors like smoking.


Myth #5 — Surgery is often required to fix chronic back pain

You will be glad to hear that most people with back pain can recover without the need for surgery.  While some serious degenerative disease can require back surgery, most conditions can be managed or cured with chiropractic care and a healthy lifestyle.


Myth #6 — People with bad back pain need pharmaceuticals

Many people experiencing back pain will often head straight towards the medicine cabinet looking for some relief.  If the pain is severe, they may see a doctor to ask for a very strong painkiller.  The truth is, most people will only need over the counter anti-inflammatory pain medications and muscle relaxants.  With proper chiropractic care, there is no need for very strong narcotics.


What’s best for back pain?

The best way to relieve back pain is to make an appointment with a medical professional like myself.  I will be able to get to the root cause of your back pain and set up a treatment plan to reduce or (ideally) eliminate the pain you are experiencing.   A few useful tips for managing back pain:

  • Avoid lying in bed for prolonged periods
  • Take over the counter anti-inflammatory painkillers
  • Focus on your posture
  • Perform moderate exercise
  • Strengthen your core muscles to take pressure off your back
  • Work on your flexibility (regularly stretch or try yoga)
  • Stop smoking
  • Apply ice and heat after an injury (ice to reduce swelling, heat to improve movement)
  • Sleep in a better position and use pillows to improve sleeping position

Thanks for reading The Myths Surrounding Back Pain (And What’s Best For It).  For more articles on back pain and chiropractic care, subscribe to the blog.
If you are interested in visiting MotionBack Chiropractic Clinic in Central London, contact the clinic on 0207 112 5408. You can also Book Online on our website here.