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Life in Motion

Back Pain: Common Myths

Back, Neck & Spine

80% of Americans will experience some form of back pain during their lifetime.  While back pain is a common occurrence, myths about back pain are even more so.

Dr. Kevin Bernard shares five of the most common myths about back pain and sets the record straight.

Myth: If I have back pain, I should stay in bed and rest.
Studies have shown that exercise and movement are not dangerous and are in most circumstances good, even when you feel pain. Bed rest or not moving can cause the muscles in your back to tighten which can make the symptoms worse. If your pain is limiting your function, see a back specialist to determine the cause of your symptoms and discuss treatment options.

Myth: I have back pain, I will need surgery.
Most episodes of back pain can be treated without surgery. Non-surgical treatment options include exercise-based physical therapy, spinal injections, and medication management. An evaluation by a spine specialist can help you understand available treatment options so you can make an informed decision. Surgery can be considered when other treatment modalities have not worked.

Myth: I have a bad back so I always will. There is nothing I can do about it.
Symptoms of chronic back pain can improve with appropriate treatment. Staying active, maintaining a healthy weight, increasing your flexibility and strengthening your core muscles which support your back are methods you can use to improve your function.  Seeing a spine specialist can help you understand the cause of your symptoms in addition to treatment options available to improve your function.

Myth: I won’t suffer from back pain because I’m physically active and exercise.
Even people that are physically active may experience back pain. Exercise and proper stretching may prevent back pain associated with soft tissue injuries, but you may still experience episodic symptoms related to spinal degeneration. A spine specialist may be able to help you understand the cause of your lower back pain and discuss treatment options to help you maintain an active lifestyle.

Myth: Back pain is something everyone experiences so I will ignore my pain.
While back pain is a common occurrence, some people may experience symptoms that can interfere with their quality of life. A spine specialist can help you understand the cause of your symptoms and make an informed decision about which treatments are best for you.

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