Five Back Pain Myths Debunked

January 26, 2015

Most of the myths circulating about back pain assume that every person with back pain is suffering in the same way from the same condition. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

The physicians at CFO see hundreds of patients a year experiencing back pain and each individual has a unique situation causing that pain.  This is why  each patient receives customized care.

Here are 5 Common Misconceptions about Back Pain:

Back pain is Rare and Serious:

If you experience back pain, don’t panic. WebMD reports that 8 out of 10 Americans will experience back pain sometime in their lives. Not only is it common, it is most often temporary and due to muscle strain, which means time will heal the problem without any medical attention required.  Back pain requires medical attention when pain persists with no relief, despite rest or OTC medications.

Have Back Pain? Go Lie Down:  

Yes, rest can help back pain, as we mentioned above. but in some cases it can cause it to worsen. It all depends on what is causing your particular back pain. Gentle exercise can help mild back pain, but if pain persists over time, without relief, a doctor should be seen. That doctor may recommend certain exercises, or physical therapy, to help relieve pain.

Back Pain Is Always An Injury:

There are many causes of back pain and trauma is only one of them.  Degenerative conditions, from disease, or aging, can also cause back pain as can some diseases or infections. Don’t assume back pain means you “threw out” your back.

Seeing a Doctor Won’t Help:

It seems like everyone knows someone with chronic back pain. And, sometimes that individual has trouble finding relief.  But the cause of back pain varies for each patient, and it is never wise to assume your experience will be the same as another person. Doctors can not only diagnose the reason for your pain, but they can also offer a variety of treatment options based specifically on your case. Options include, but are not limited to: physical therapy, OTC or prescription medications, injections, acupuncture, chiropractic care and rarely surgery.

Back Pain is Only Relieved by Addictive Painkillers:

Some people believe “toughing out” chronic back pain is preferable to seeing a physician, fearing they will be placed on opiates and find no relief.  See the myth above as to why you should consult a physician and know there are many pain management options that do not involve addictive medications. Back pain can be debilitating and degenerating, so seeing a physician for your chronic pain is a wise idea. Toughing it out may lead to loss of activity, lowered quality of life, lost sleep or depression. 

If I see a Doctor, They’ll Recommend Surgery:

Surgery is always the last option explored. It is rarely the best solution, but physicians want to minimize the risk and maximize the relief of their patients.  This means trying less invasive treatments before recommending surgery. As discussed above there are many things you and your doctor can try to relieve back pain including, but not limited to: physical therapy, OTC or prescription medications, injections, acupuncture, chiropractic care, and, yes, rarely surgery.

Entry Filed under: Back and Spine. Posted in  Back and Spine .

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