The truth about low back pain.
It might be a sharp stab. It might be a dull ache. Sooner or later, 8 out of 10 of us will have back pain. And back pain myths are almost as common. Let's set the record straight about what you may have heard.
Myth: Always sit up straight
Slouching is bad, but sitting up too straight and still for long periods can also be a strain on your back. Take breaks a few times a day: Lean back in your chair with your feet on the floor and let your back curve slightly. Even better: Try standing for part of the day, perhaps while you're on the phone or reading.
Fact: Physical therapy can help
Treatment guidelines from the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society recommend that patients and doctors consider other options with proven benefits for low back pain. These include spinal manipulation and massage therapy.
Myth: Don't lift heavy things
It's not necessarily how much you lift, it's how you do it. Get directly in front of the object. Squat close to it, with your back straight and head up. Stand, using your legs to push up the load and your arms to hold it close to your middle. Don't twist or bend your body or you may hurt your back. (Of course, you shouldn't pick up anything that might be too heavy for you.)
Fact: More pounds, more pain
Staying fit helps prevent back pain. As you might guess, extra pounds will put stress on your back. Back pain is most common among people who are out of shape, especially weekend warriors who push themselves hard after sitting around all week. It’s recommended to speak with a nutrition specialist to cater a lifestyle that’s best for you!
Myth: Bed rest is the best cure
Yes, resting can help a recent injury or strain that causes back pain. But a day or two in bed can actually make it worse.
Fact: FDN (functional dry needling) may ease pain
The same organizations say FDN, yoga, progressive relaxation, and cognitive-behavioral therapy may help when you don't get relief from standard self-care.
Myth: Pain is caused by injury
Disc degeneration, diseases, infections, and even inherited conditions can make your back hurt, too.
Myth: Exercise is bad for back pain
This is a big one!!! Regular exercise prevents back pain. And doctors may recommend exercise for people who have recently hurt their lower back. They'll usually start with gentle movements and gradually build up the intensity. Once the immediate pain goes away, an exercise plan can help keep it from coming back.
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