I have even heard of stories from few of my clients who was too confused that they ended up to "Google" their condition, which again, didn't serve much help because they only got more paranoid. How would you feel typing "Back pain" to find out different things that may range from muscle strain to cancer and all other deadly condition? You see.. there's so much information out there, that people were often misled to think their back pain is more severe that it actually is.
In this blog post, I will share with you and debunk the four back pain myths that I heard almost every time from clients. Well, at least that's what the clients assume. So I'm going to clarify that here clearly so you have a better understanding.
Myth #1 - I need bed rest to recover
"You just hurt your back, maybe you should just rest and not move too much!"
Does it sound familiar? For those of you who got your back pain FRESH (meaning it's still acute), it's okay to just rest it off with painkillers. But, it's no excuse for you to rest further after that. A lot people mistaken rest as a long term solution. Even doctors tell their patients to get bed rest for back pain - "take it easy" without giving them sort of a timeframe.. when exactly they must get back to moving again. Not moving the spine is only going to train your spine to "not move" and eventually it will only become stiff. Do you want your back feeling stiff? If not, then ask yourself as to what you can do today so it doesn't end up become stiff, or become stage where there is no turn around.
So what do you have to do instead? MOVE that spine, immediately once the pain ease off (approx 2-3 days), you must start moving. If you have doubt, seek a professional who encourage you to move. Be selective with the advices whom you take into account. Once you got someone who could guide you as to what movement you can start off with gradually, aim to bed rest as less as possible or even sitting down. The spine loves movement and it often respond best to staying active and changing your body position frequently.
Myth #2 - My back hurts because of my arthritis
"I think it's the age! Isn't it how it works, as you get older, you get arthritis and your joint hurts?."
You see.. some people just have the thoughts that when they are old, they are "entitled" with pain, even worse, to assume it's all coming from arthritis. Isn't this what people love to do, to make the matter bigger than it actually seems, sometimes even to a point it scares them?
Imaging studies have looked at the x-rays of people with arthritis and interestingly, many people with arthritis actually have NO back pain. There is no way of knowing that arthritis is the direct cause of back pain. Hence, don't go chase "arthritis" thinking you must fix it in order for your back pain to go away.. it won't! Look somewhere else. Arthritis is not your culprit!
Myth #3 - I slipped my disc now I have to stop lifting weights
Now let's put aside having a "slipped disc", just having a normal back pain.. Can you recall the last time you got a back pain, what people around you or any professionals you visit are most likely to tell you to avoid? Yes.. Lifting weights, bending down, carry heavy stuff.. You see, this movements are all instill in us to avoid whenever it hurts. There's nothing wrong to back off a bit for few days, but isn't there a way for us to just keep moving as to avoid almost all activities and become like a "plank", having the fear to do any movements?
Avoidance of activity is rarely beneficial. Instead of "completely" avoiding activities such as lifting weights.. how about if you could just unload, modify and adapt. Well, you may need to initially reduce the amount of load or intensity then progressively increase the load or intensity as your body improves. So that, with time and the right exercises, you can get back to your normal activities.
Myth #4 - I need an MRI before physiotherapy
"Do you think I should get an MRI first before going for treatment with a Physio?"
Does that sound familiar to you? Thing is, an MRI is not necessary before starting physio. MRI will not solve a single problem for you, other than giving you a diagnostic view. DIAGNOSTIC only, not prognosis. Meaning in the MRI report, you can only see the fine features of your spine, but again, it won't tell you exactly how long you will be fully recovered from just looking at the picture. So is it a must for you to go for MRI?
And oftentimes, what we usually see is that, after one actually got their MRI already, the effect is that it causes more harm than benefits. How about you tell me, as a patient, who's already anxiously waiting for the MRI result, and then after that getting told by doctors that you have a slipped disc and all sort of weird terms.. how would you feel?
A good physio will identify any red flags or concerns during the examination. In the majority of cases, you want to start physio as soon as possible. Again, this post is not saying MRIs are useless. They are very necessary in the medical field. But, an MRI doesn't reduce your back pain. Movement does. Movement and surgery are not to be feared.
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Physiotherapist sharing with you the general knowledge on common injuries you're facing and how to free yourself off it.