Between 50 and 90 percent of adults will experience a period of low back pain in their lifetime. This is about 20 percent of the population annually. There are many reasons given by health professionals as the cause of the complaints, such as hernias, crooked vertebrae, and poor core-stability. There are many frightening stories running around that are especially good for the purse of the health industry. Back pain is very common and can be very difficult, but it is rarely something to worry about. 9 of the 10 times back pain will pass over again within a few weeks. That’s why here are nine myths about back pain.
1. Bending is bad for your back
Nonsense, your back is made to bend and stretch. You do not have to be afraid to bend over. Your back is well protected by muscles and ligaments and does not just break. With really heavy lifting or deadlifts, it is useful to lift the weight close to your body and keep your back straight. Apart from these activities, bending your back can not hurt, it does not cause back pain and it is even good to do regularly to maintain good mobility.
2. Back pain is only caused by excessive physical strain
We used to think that pain was a sign of damage. It would always be related to excessive physical strain, such as a sudden or repeated movement or lifting something heavy. We now know that many factors play a role in back problems. Think of psychological factors (fear of a serious condition, stress pain that does not pass), health (low energy level), lifestyle (sleep problems, little exercise, obesity) and social (bad atmosphere at work or at home). These factors can also play a major role in back problems. This means that while you do not damage your back, you experience more pain as you move. You experience pain differently through emotions. Have you ever had a headache when you were sad, tired or stressed? This is the same principle.
3. Strength training is bad for your back
Not true, strength training is actually very good to strengthen your body and therefore also your back. It is important that there is a good structure in your schedule and your body can get used to the training. It is also important that the technique of the exercises is carried out properly. Go to a trainer who can assess your performance and possibly refine it.
4. Bed rest is the best treatment
In the past, the doctor prescribed six weeks of bed rest for back problems. Fortunately, fewer and fewer people still believe in this myth. Science has meanwhile proven that not moving leads to a delayed recovery. As a result of pain, the muscles in the lower back cramp. That is why it is very important to keep moving when you suffer from your back. By ‘normal’ movement, the blood circulation of your muscles will increase and they will relax more quickly. In the case of back problems walking or swimming is very good, but also light strength training (many repetitions with little weight) helps. Try not to sit too long and to alternate between standing and walking.
5. An MRI scan is required
Many people think that additional research, such as an MRI scan or X-ray, will indicate the cause of their back complaints. Scientific research shows that additional research is only necessary if there is suspicion of serious disorders such as cancer, fractures or infections. Fortunately, these disorders are rare and occur in only 1 percent of all back complaints worldwide.
The problem with making a scan is that there is almost always something to see on the photo or MRI. Research has shown that there is often no connection between the damage found in the back (which can be normal) and the complaints the patient has. If you scan people without back problems through a scan, the chances are that there is always something to be found on the images. Physiotherapists can often form a good picture of your complaint with questions about the origin and the characteristics of the back pain. In addition, they also know what can be done to get rid of this.
6. If you have had back problems once, this will always remain a weak spot
That does not have to be that way at all. We should not be too afraid of back pain and approach the lake as a twisted ankle. It hurts and is very annoying, but after a period the body recovers and you can move pain-free. It is important to build a training step by step.
7. Stiffness in your back after a workout is an indicator for starting back problems
The feeling of stiffness and muscle pain is not a sign of damage in your body. It only indicates that your body is not accustomed to the sports activity that you have done. You can make your body stronger by building up the tax with small steps. This can be done by doing heavier exercises, making more repetitions or training with more weight.
8. My vertebrae are skewed and must be straightened
In general, vertebrae cannot be tilted. Exceptions are heavy car accidents, making a substantial fall or a congenital abnormality. Your spine is a chain of vertebrae that are connected to each other by means of (facet) joints. Sometimes one of these links moves less well. A manual physiotherapist or chiropractor does not straighten vertebrae but restores the mobility of these joints.
9. Hard mattresses are better for people with back problems
Every person is different and has his own preference. Hard mattresses are no better or worse. Back complaints often occur in the morning because you get stuff from the night.