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Common Back Pain Myths

Common Back Pain Myths

Back pain can be a difficult issue to deal with as it can be caused by a variety of issues and may be hard to diagnose.  There are many treatment options which all have various risks and benefits so if you experience back pain, it is important to discuss it with a professional.  Using the internet to try to decide on a treatment can be a slippery slope as there are many myths surrounding back pain.  Below you will find some of the more common back pain myths from your top chiropractor in Orange County.

Myth:  Back pain is something I don’t need to worry about.  I am young and fit so it will not be an issue.

Fact:  Eight out of ten people will have back pain during their lifetime.  In the United States, back pain is the leading cause of disability in men over the age of 45.  It is also the second most common complaint at a primary care doctor and the third most common reason for surgery.  Back pain is the fifth most frequent cause of hospitalization.  The statistics show that most people will experience back pain at some point.

Myth:  Paralysis could be caused by back pain.

Fact:  In most cases, even severe back pain will not result in paralysis.  The spinal cord only runs down to the upper part of your lower back (lumbar 1).  Further down your back there are nerve roots which are tough and back pain is not indicative of a problem that will lead to becoming paralyzed.  In rare cases, spine tumors, spinal infections, and an unstable fracture of the spine could cause an issue leading to paralysis.

Myth:  The level of damage to the back can be determined by the level of pain.

Fact:  If you experience acute pain, the level of pain may correlate to the amount of damage.  However, if you have chronic pain (pain lasting longer than 6 weeks) then the amount of pain does not necessarily correlate to the amount of damage.

Myth:  I should not experience back pain since I am physically active.

This is one of the more common back pain myths. Back pain can affect all people whether they are physically active or not.  Some sports that keep you active can actually cause or exacerbate back pain such as golf, gymnastics, and volleyball.  If you are active and involved in any kind of sport you should make sure that the back is a priority during conditioning so that you have a stable platform for the movement of arms and legs.

Myth:  The spine is delicate and can be injured easily.

Fact:  The spine is designed to be strong, flexible, and supportive.  Strengthening exercises, flexibility, and aerobic conditioning will help to maintain your back and your spine.

Myth:  Back pain in my early years indicates that I will suffer from worse back pain as I age.

Fact:  Back pain is more common between the ages of 35 and 55.  People over the age of 55 usually experience less pain.  Disc degeneration is a natural part of the aging process but it is not always accompanied by pain.

Myth:  Back pain is genetic.

Parents do not pass on back pain to their children.

Myth:  Back pain can only be diagnosed with an MRI scan or other diagnostic test.

Fact:  A thorough medical history and a physical exam should be enough for a health professional to develop a successful plan for treatment.  Usually an MRI will be done if the treatment being used shows no improvement and there is need for further diagnosis.

Myth:  If there is an abnormality on my MRI it is an issue that will need to be cured.

It is possible that a herniated disc of a degenerative disc will show up on an MRI or CT scan but it is not cause for surgery.  Most people who experience lower back pain will be able to be treated successfully without surgery.

Myth:  If there is no specific problem found then my pain is only psychological.

Fact:  Psychological factors including things such as depression and sleeplessness should be considered in a comprehensive treatment plan for back pain.  Nonsurgical options can help to lessen back pain.  If no specific cause has been found then a qualified spine specialist should be seen in order to rule out a tumor or infection.

Looking for a chiropractor in Orange County? Soloway Chiropractic has professional staff available to discuss treatment options for those experiencing back pain.  If you are suffering from back pain related to sports injuries, work injuries, automobile injuries, or pain caused by another factor, contact your go-to chiropractor in Orange County to book an exam and discuss treatment options with highly qualified professionals.