The many myths about back pain are not at all helpful in managing this frequent and persistent problem, which often involves complex treatments, with various risks and complications.
Preconceived ideas about the causes, diagnosis and treatment can be aggravating factors in the continuity of symptoms, as complete and correct information helps to treat back pain more easily.
Medical statistics show that 8 out of 10 people will experience back pain at some point in their lives. In the US, this medical problem is
- The main cause of disabilities of people over 45 years;
- The second frequent reason to visit the general practitioner;
- The third common cause of surgical procedures;
- The fifth common cause of hospitalization;
Therefore, most people end up experiencing annoying back pain at some point in their lives. The way they are kept under control can be affected by the many myths about back pain passed down from generation to generation about this extremely widespread medical problem.
You can find some of the most important myths about back pain below.
- Back pain worsens with age
- Chronic back pain persists throughout life
- Active people are not at risk of developing chronic back pain
- Severe back pain can degenerate into paralysis
- Traditional medicine does not recommend acupuncture to treat back pain
- Rest helps relieve back pain
- Chronic back pain is treated by surgery
1. Back pain worsens with age
On the contrary, medical statistics say. The incidence of back pain is usually higher between 35 and 55. After this age, the pain tends to be less severe.
2. Chronic back pain persists throughout life
Even though they are common problems, chronic back pain is not a life sentence. With proper management of discomfort and good prevention of symptoms, patients with chronic back pain can keep their back in top shape, even if they have had severe pain at certain times in their lives.
Following an active lifestyle, warming up the body before exercise, controlling body weight and quitting smoking are excellent measures to prevent chronic back pain.
3. Active people are not at risk of developing chronic back pain
While it is true that active people have a lower predisposition to back pain, this problem can occur regardless of the level of physical activity. Some sports increase susceptibility to lumbar discomfort, such as volleyball, golf or gymnastics.
4. Severe back pain can degenerate into paralysis
The spine ends in the lumbar region of the body, where there are nerve roots with a robust structure. In most cases, the appearance of back pain does not indicate a medical problem that can lead to paralysis. Examples of rare cases where paralysis is a real risk in the presence of low back pain are spinal tumors, spinal infections or unstable spinal fractures.
5. Traditional medicine does not recommend acupuncture to treat back pain
More recently, the American Pain Society and the American College of Physicians unanimously recommend the use of acupuncture to treat chronic back pain.
This complementary treatment has been accepted by traditional medicine, especially after studies in the field have shown that therapy can be even more effective than conventional treatment for this medical condition.
6. Rest helps relieve back pain
Doctors once recommended that people with chronic back pain (lasting at least 6 weeks) get more rest. Currently, specialists have found that prolonged rest (over 1-2 days) rarely helps to relieve symptoms. Recent studies have found that bed rest can even aggravate back pain, while physical exercise can have the opposite effect.
In most cases, stretching exercises, swimming or walking contribute to the removal of discomfort and a better physiological condition.
7. Chronic back pain is treated by surgery
In most cases, chronic back pain is treated with other types of noninvasive therapies, including small lifestyle changes. Only in very severe cases, which cannot be managed by medication, are surgical interventions taken into account.