Chronic Back Pain: Top 5 Common Misconceptions
Chronic back pain is a condition that many people go through but too often overlooked or treated with wrong methods because of common misconceptions. Like other similar medical conditions, chronic back pain should be diagnosed and can be treated and managed, as long as these mistaken beliefs are out of the way.
1) Resting in bed helps to recover from back pain.
While resting in bed for 1 to 2 days is recommended to reduce stress on the discs of the spine and lessen the pain, any longer than that would backfire on the recovery. Long hours in bed would cause an increase in pain, muscle atrophy, loss in bone mineral and a higher risk of blood clots forming due to the lack of movement.
Contrary to popular beliefs, patients with chronic back pain should not rest for too long. On the other hand, doing back exercises regularly would strengthen the muscles and speed up recovery.
2) Only painkillers can help to relief pain.
Painkillers may be prescribed to help manage the pain for daily activities. However, without proper treatment, the condition does not get better. Physical therapy like ultrasound treatment and electrotherapy can help to reduce the inflammation and joint mobilization helps to decrease tension in the muscles. Other pain management methods include having a healthy diet, a better sleep routine and exercising.
3) The pain would go away with heat and back massage.
Heat and massage would help to manage pain for the short-term. But for chronic pain, the soothing effect wears off and the pain would be just as bad as before. This method is good if you just need a quick alleviation from acute pain. However, the condition would not get any better without appropriate treatment advised by the doctor.
4) Chronic back pain is a natural occurrence of aging.
Many people live with chronic back pain undiagnosed and untreated, thinking that the symptoms are due to aging. Back pain can happen to people of any age, with or without injury. In fact, those that go through chronic back pain at a younger age tend to feel less pain when they get older with proper treatment and exercise. Even though disc degeneration occurs between ages 35 and 55, it does not necessarily come with pain. Never ignore any kind of pain or discomfort and always get it checked.
5) If I have chronic back pain, I should not exercise.
Exercising helps strengthen the back muscles, giving a stronger support for the spine. Though vigorous exercises that add pressure on the back should be avoided, regular light exercises are good for long-term recovery.