Common Myths About Low Back Pain

With over 75 years combined experience, the providers here at Downtown’s Healthcare have heard it all when it comes to low back pain. When I decided to write this week’s blog on Low Back Pain, I quickly jotted down the top myths we hear, and thought that these would be good to address this week. So here we go:


1. Myth: Back Pain and Back Problems Won’t Happen to Me

Fact: Approximately eight out of ten people will experience back pain at some point in their lifetimes. In the United States, back pain is:

•The leading cause of disability in men over 45 years old

•The second most common reason for a visit to a primary care doctor

•The third most frequent reason for surgical procedures

•The fifth most frequent cause of hospitalization

So unfortunately, the fact is that most people do experience back pain and back problems at some point in their lives.

2. Myth: I’m Physically Active, So I Shouldn’t Get Back Pain

Fact: While it’s true that well-conditioned individuals are less likely to have an episode of back pain than sedentary individuals, back pain can affect all people regardless of their level of activity. Some sports are more likely to cause back pain, such as golf, volleyball, tennis, and gymnastics. In all cases however, the back should be considered a priority in conditioning, because it creates a stable platform from which the arms and legs work.

3. Myth: My Father (or Mother) Had Bad Back Pain and Back Problems, So I’m Likely To Have It.

Fact: For the vast majority of conditions related to back and neck pain, there is no genetic predisposition, which means that parents do not pass their back conditions onto their children. Most back pain issues come from trauma, lifestyle choices, and or some form of repetitive stress.

4. Myth: Rest Is The Key To Recovery From Back Pain and Back Problems.

Fact: The two main reasons bed rest may be recommended for back pain are to reduce pressure on the discs in the spine, and to stop the mechanical stresses that are irritating pain receptors. A short period of bed rest may help reduce acute low back pain. However, in most instances, more than 1 or 2 days of rest can be detrimental to recovery from back pain, potentially leading to increased pain and other adverse results.

5. Myth: Back Pain is a Fact of Life

Fact: Since up to 80% of Americans will experience back pain during their lives, it may be a fact of life for many people. A spine that’s out of alignment, a pinched nerve, a herniated disc, or spinal subluxation can all cause problems such as sleeplessness, depression, or acute pain. However, you can obtain relief with our services, which include Medical Staff, Chiropractors, and Massage Therapists who are trained to relieve pain and to promote healing.

6. Myth: The more back pain I have, the more my spine is damaged

Fact: More pain does not necessarily mean more damage. Different levels of pain can be experienced by people who have similar back injuries. Many factors can influence the degree of pain one experiences, including mood, stress levels, fitness, fear of injury, and individual coping mechanisms. We have seen over the years, patients who come in with little pain to later find a major problem, and the reverse of these patients who come in with a ton of pain, and after evaluation find out that the problem causing the pain is minimal.

7. Myth: Bad Back Pain Can Result in Paralysis

Fact: The spinal cord ends in the upper part of the low back (lumbar 1). Further down the low back there are only nerve roots, which are very tough structures. In most cases, a great deal of back pain does not usually indicate a back problem that could lead to paralysis. Examples of rare cases where paralysis may be a risk, include spine tumors, spinal infections, and unstable spine fractures.

Over the years at Downtown’s Healthcare we have added so many great services to aid people who have back pain. We currently offer:

Physical Medicine
Massage Therapy

Gary Rademacher D.C., CCST

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