The truth about back pain
Maybe you’ve heard the joke that there are two kinds of people – those who already have lower back pain and those who will. But it’s no laughing matter for those who suffer debilitating muscle ache, shooting pains or an inability to stand upright comfortably, whether their back pain lasts for a few days or many weeks at a time. Keep reading to find out about some common back pain myths.
Myth 1: Something you did at one time caused the pain
While lifting something too heavy or a slip-and-fall accident could be the culprit, disk degeneration from small micro-tears that go unnoticed over time could be the real cause. Spinal disks are like small jelly donuts – cushions of collagen and water sandwiched between the vertebrae of your spine to help it move.
A herniated disk or ‘slipped’ disk causes pain and inflammation when it bulges out and presses on a nearby nerve root. When a disk ruptures, fluid leaks out, putting pressure on nerve endings in the lower back. Click the link to watch a video of Dr. Mark Kubert, a chiropractor in Guelph, Ontario explaining how disk damage happens.
Myth 2: Bed rest is the best treatment to heal lower back pain
Bed rest is no longer recommended. Back pain gets worse as the muscles tighten in response to an injury, and lying down makes them tighten more, continuing the cycle of pain. If you are in severe pain while sitting or standing, limit bed rest during the day to a few hours and only for a couple of days. See your family doctor to learn what’s causing your particular lower back pain and consult with a chiropractor or physical therapist to develop a safe stretching and strengthening program to heal and protect your back.