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  • Writer's pictureChang Min Lee

10 Common Myths About Low Back Pain



Did you know that low back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide? In fact, it’s estimated that low back pain affects more than 80% of the population at some point in their lives. While there are many different causes of low back pain, it can be treated with a variety of methods, including physical therapy, dry needling, and corrective exercises.


Despite its prevalence, there are still a lot of myths surrounding low back pain. Here are 10 common myths about low back pain:



Myth 1: Low back pain is just a part of getting older



Just because low back pain is common doesn’t mean it’s normal. While age can be a factor in developing low back pain, it’s not necessarily a part of the aging process. There are many things you can do to prevent or treat low back pain, regardless of your age.


Myth 2: You should just tough it out



If you have low back pain, chances are it’s going to interfere with your daily life. That’s why it’s important to seek treatment, rather than just trying to “tough it out.” There are many effective treatments available for low back pain, so you don’t have to suffer needlessly.



Myth 3: Bed rest is the best way to treat low back pain



While it may be tempting to just stay in bed when you have low back pain, this is actually one of the worst things you can do. Bed rest can actually make low back pain worse, and can lead to muscle atrophy and deconditioning. Instead, try to stay active and limit your time spent in bed to no more than a few hours at a time.


Myth 4: You need an X-ray to diagnose low back pain


In most cases, low back pain can be diagnosed without the need for an X-ray or other imaging tests. Your physical therapist will likely ask you about your symptoms and medical history, and may perform a physical exam. In some cases, additional tests may be necessary to rule out other conditions, but X-rays are generally not needed.


Myth 5: You should only see a doctor if your low back pain is severe



Whether your low back pain is mild or severe, it’s important to see a physical therapist if you’re experiencing any symptoms. Early diagnosis and treatment can help improve your chances of a successful outcome.


Myth 6: Surgery is the only way to treat chronic low back pain



Surgery is only necessary in a small minority of cases of chronic low back pain. In most cases, chronic low back pain can be treated with nonsurgical methods, such as medication, physical therapy, and exercise.


Myth 7: Cracking your back will help relieve low back pain



Do you love the satisfying sound of a good crack? If you do, you might think that cracking your back will help relieve low back pain. Unfortunately, this is just a myth. Cracking your back may provide temporary relief, but it won’t actually fix the underlying problem. In fact, it could even make low back pain worse.


If you’re experiencing low back pain, avoid cracking your back and see a physical therapist for treatment instead. Physical therapy can help identify the root cause of your low back pain and provide relief.


Myth 8: You should always see a physician first for low back pain



In most cases, low back pain can be effectively treated by your physical therapist. Only a small minority of cases will require referral to a physician, specialist, or advanced imaging.


Myth 9: Physical therapy is just hot packs and massage


Physical therapy can help to identify the root cause of low back pain and provide relief through a variety of methods, including holistic bodywork, dry needling, posture training, and corrective exercises. If you’re experiencing low back pain, it’s important to see a physical therapist for treatment.


Myth 10: You have to live with low back pain


While low back pain is a common condition, it’s not necessarily something you have to live with. There are many effective treatments available, so don’t suffer needlessly. If low back pain is interfering with your life, talk to your physical therapist about treatment options.


Tell me the structure of the back?



The lower back, where pain is most prevalent, includes the 5 vertebrae (known as L1 to L5) that support the weight of the upper body. The spaces between vertebrae are maintained by round rubber disc pads that are a shock absorber throughout the spine that cushion bones during movement. Ligaments hold vertebral bodies and tendons connect the muscles with the backbone. Thirty nerves are tied to the spinal cord and control movements and transmit signals to the brain.


Tell me the cause of lower back pain?


Low back injuries are usually mechanical in nature, which means they disrupt how the parts and muscles of the back are integrated and move together. Back pain can develop from a single event, such as lifting something too heavy, or it can develop over time due to repetitive movements. Poor posture, obesity, and pregnancy are also common causes of low back pain.


Can back pain be prevented?


In the absence of movements that can impact your back and cause back discomfort, you should avoid stifling the back and keeping proper posture and lifting the weight properly. Some workplace-related injury occurs by stressors such as the use of heavy weights, repetitive movements, and awkward postures. The best ways to maintain the health and fitness of your neck and shoulders.


Tell me the risk of low back pain?


Age, job, lifestyle, and overall health are the main risk factors for low back pain. People who are overweight or obese have a higher risk for developing low back pain than those of normal weight. Chronic pain is also more common among smokers and people who do not exercise regularly.


Gender: Women are more likely than men to develop low back pain, probably because of the hormonal changes that take place during a woman's life. Also, the combined effect of carrying extra weight in the abdominal area and the low back can put more strain on the spine.

Occupation: People whose jobs involve heavy lifting, twisting or repetitive motions are at an increased risk of low back pain. Poor posture while sitting at a desk can also lead to low back pain.


Pregnancy: Pregnant women are at an increased risk of low back pain because of the extra weight they are carrying and the changes in their posture.


What is the prognosis for low back pain?


The prognosis for low back pain varies depending on the cause and severity of the condition. In most cases, low back pain will improve with self-care and physical therapy. However, some people may require surgery to treat their low back pain.



What is the treatment for low back pain?


Most low back pain can be treated effectively with self-care, physical therapy, and over-the-counter medication. In some cases, surgery may be recommended. If you are experiencing chronic back pain, it is important to talk to your doctor or physical therapist about treatment options.


Self-care: There are a number of self-care measures you can take to ease low back pain. These include staying active, practicing good posture, and using heat or ice to reduce pain and inflammation.


Rest: You should avoid activity that aggravates your low back pain. However, bed rest is not recommended as it can actually lead to further muscle weakening and de-conditioning.


Ice: Applying ice to the affected area can help to reduce inflammation and pain.


Heat: Applying heat to the affected area can help to relax the muscles and ease pain.


OTC medication: Over-the-counter pain medication, such as ibuprofen, can help to reduce inflammation and pain.


Physical therapist: Physical therapy can help to strengthen the muscles and improve posture. A physical therapist can also teach you exercises to help alleviate low back pain.


Surgery: In some cases, surgery may be recommended to treat low back pain. This is usually only considered when other treatment options have failed.


SKYE Physiotherapy and our physical therapists have a solution for your low back pain!


Low back pain is one of the most common conditions in the United States, affecting millions of people each year. While there are many treatment options available, physical therapy is often one of the safest and most effective choices.


At SKYE Physiotherapy, our team of experts can help you recover from low back pain, restore function, and get back to your normal life. We offer a variety of treatments, including concierge physical therapy, dry needling, holistic body work, posture training, and corrective exercises.


If you’re suffering from low back pain, don’t hesitate to seek help. There are many effective treatments available, so you don’t have to suffer needlessly.


Contact us today to schedule an appointment and start feeling better!



Chang-Min (Skye) Lee,PT, DPT, MS, OCS, COMT, CMTPT

8000 Locust Mill Street Suite P Ellicott City, MD 21043

(410) 357-6500

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