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False ideas about back
False ideas about back

Misunderstanding #1: Lower back pain can lead to paralysis if it's not treated

The spinal cord comes off the base of the brain, runs throughout the neck and middle back, and ends before the lower spine. Because the spinal cord ends before the lower spine, and there is a large amount of space for the nerve roots in the lower spine, even serious conditions (such as a large disc herniation) are very unlikely to cause paralysis.

Misunderstanding #2: My back pain will probably get much worse as I get older

Some people are concerned about their back pain progressing and potentially becoming disabling as they get older. However, back pain is actually less common in people over 50 years old than in 30 - 50 year olds. This is especially true for pain that is generated by the disc, such as a disc herniation or degenerative disc disease. Therefore, if you can find a way to manage your pain and maintain your daily activities, your back pain may actually start to get better as you get older.

Misunderstanding #3: The spine is delicate and easily injured

The muscles, tendons and ligaments that surround the spine provide a great deal of strength, flexibility and support for the spine. Therefore, in general, a healthy spine is not easily injured. Activities that can harm the spine include lack of physical fitness and flexibility, poor posture and straining your back, and other generally unhealthy habits, such as smoking and poor nutrition. In most cases, by the time back pain occurs, there has been a summary of things gone wrong over many years which, later, leads to instability and a more easily injured spine.

Misunderstanding #4: There is a standard treatment for most types of back pain

doctor-X-ray

Compared to other medical conditions, there are relatively few standardized approaches to treatment of back pain problems. Spine specialists from various areas of expertise will often disagree on the diagnosis and most appropriate treatment, and health professionals within a specialty will also frequently have different opinions. A few diagnoses are relatively straightforward (such as tumors, infections and fractures) and there is generally more consensus for these conditions.

Misunderstanding #5: Rest is the best way to avoid more back pain

While a short period of bed rest may help reduce acute pain, in general progressive doctors advise against more than one or two days of rest. In fact, resting and general inactivity can cause more pain, as lack of activity leads to muscle atrophy and other harmful effects, which, in turn, can create more pain. Many people with back pain tend to overprotect their backs and, as a result, are more prone to injury and pain due lack of conditioning.

Misunderstanding #6:The doctor didn't find anything wrong, so the pain must be all in my head

Pain is always real. The physician may not be able to find the anatomical cause of the pain, but the pain still exists. And for chronic pain (e.g. pain that lasts more than 2 or 3 months), it's important to proactively treat the pain. While psychological factors (such as depression and sleeplessness) will often need to be included as part of a comprehensive treatment program, it is also important to search out conservative care treatment options that can help alleviate the pain.

Misunderstanding #7: I must be very careful to protect my back to avoid further pain

Many people with back pain actually overprotect their backs and, as a result, are more prone to injury and pain due to lack of conditioning. To stay healthy, the spine needs a regular regimen of stretching, strengthening and aerobic conditioning. An overall sedentary lifestyle and lack of exercise leads to lack of strength and flexibility and generally does more harm than good. Unless your doctor tells you differently, protecting your back should mainly include proper posture and body mechanics, and appropriate physical therapy instruction to ensure that you are exercising correctly.

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Healthy back

Rehabilitation from back pain


Rehabilitation - also called physical therapy or exercise - is critical for preventing back pain and for recovering from a bout of back pain or surgery.

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Most common mistakes in back care


We spend a lot of time talking about what to do to care for your back and spine. For a change of pace, we thought it would be valuable to provide some input about common mistakes to avoid.

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Low back pain – causes and symptoms


Low back pain (LBP) is often described as sudden, sharp, persistent, or dull pain felt below the waist. It is very common and affects the majority of people at some point during their life.

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General information about back pain


With evolution man has developed from primates to upright walking person. This has brought good and bad things, including back pain.

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Posture and back pain


Watching for the correct poise is the most what we can do for our spine. But learning the correct poise technique is not so easy. Our poise can’t be fixed over night, we have to take it easy and put a lot of effort in it.

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Acute back pain


Sudden acute pain can be really painful and exhausting but it might not be a sign for constant problems. Most common causes for acute back pain are chronic, long lasting troubles, for example bad posture or abdominal muscle weakness. The latter can cause increased pressure and burdening of the spine and back muscles which eventually can lead to back injuries.

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Understanding your back


The spine is the central supporting system of our body. It's easy to forget that most of the movements that we make in our daily life the back is involved.

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Chronic back pain


Chronic back pain is the most common problem which doctors have to deal with in developed countries. It is the most common reason for absences from work compared to any other illnesses.

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What causes back pain


Spine is a complex mechanism, therefore even a smaller injury of joints, muscles, ties and nerves can cause pain.

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Who is hurt by back pain?


Back pain is one of the most common health problems in the world. It can occur at any age at both men and women.

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How stress effects our back?


Twentysomethings who experience lifestyle stress may be increasing their risk for development of back pain in their 30s.

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Body weight impact on your spine


Overweight has a harmful impact on your spine. Extra fat doesn’t do any good to your body. In contrast with muscles which protect joins, extra weight just increases the burden that joints have to carry. That is especially harmful for joints in loin and hips.

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Facts and figures about back care


Facts and figures about back care give an overview of the total number of people affected by back pain, the associated costs and various other facts and figures.

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