Someone always has some advice – but is it always helpful?
If you have ever had a bad episode of back pain, you will easily recall how uncomfortable it was.
You might have had to walk stooped over, weren’t able to stand up straight, constantly had you hand on your back and there probably was a lot of uncomfortable moaning and groaning.
It’s not too pleasant, your movement is pretty restricted and it’s obvious to a lot of people that you are having trouble with your back.
And what you will find is that everyone you meet, has some piece of advice to offer or a story they heard about so and so down the road who had the same problem and got it sorted by doing ‘this and that’.
Of course, they are really trying to help, but it can get quite frustrating after a while, because they are all saying different things and who are you meant to believe. So, lets look at the common ‘help tips’ that you hear of people saying, that may not be so helpful.
5 Advice Tips That May Not Be So Helpful For Your Back Pain
1 “Sit Up Straight, Slouching will make it worse”
This is a common one and it’s normally someone in your family (i.e your mum), who will have said this. The thing to be aware of here, is that people who have back pain are normally using there back muscles way too much and when you sit up straight, you are in-fact working your back muscles quite a lot. This is alright if you don’t suffer with back pain. Not so good if already have back pain. When you slouch, your back muscles should be able to completely relax and in people who have back pain and are already using their back muscles a lot, this will actually be a better approach, than sitting up straight.
2 – “Go to bed. You need to lay up for a while”
When you hurt your back, initially, it can be very sore and your movement can be very restricted. Someone may advice you to go to bed and resta nd often this is tempting, as you may feel that there is very little you can do anyways. (This in fact was the advice many years ago by healthcare professionals).
This is not the answer. While it makes sense that you may have to slow down your activity levels initially and avoid the activity that caused the pain in the first place, the best chances of recovering quickly are to keep moving regularly and often. Even if it is just a small amount of movement.
Movement helps loosen and relax muscles and it is better for your mental health, rather than lying down, worrying and thinking negative thoughts about your back.
3 – “You should get an MRI scan for your back”
MRI scans are amazing machines and are very useful for certain injuries. The problem with an MRI scan on your back is that they will show up lots of things on everyone and very little of it will be of help to your back pain.
MRI scans are only truly needed in less than 5% of people who have back pain and often a physical therapist or physiotherapist will be able to diagnose your problem, without a scan.
4 – “Bend your knees when your lifting – Don’t bend your back”
Useful advice if your lifting up a heavy box off the floor but not necessary when you’ve dropped your pen on the ground. Your back is designed to bend and bending is in fact good to lengthen and stretch your back muscles.
I know when you’ve initially hurt your back bending may be very hard to do and bending your knees may be a useful strategy. But once the pain eases, then you do not need to adopt this strategy, unless you are lifting a heavier object. If you constantly bend your knees when lifting, then you will adopt overly protective habit that are not good in the long run.
In my clinic, we can restore and help improve your back to bend quite quickly after an initial injury, therefore you getting you back to normal movement habits are early as possible.
5 – ” Look it up and Google to find out what’s going on”
Yikes! This is dangerous teritory. Like an MRI machine, Google is an amazing creation. Also like an MRI, Google will tell you lots of stuff and very little of it will be relevant to your back problem. I’ve had patients who have rang me up in a panic, because they read on Google that there back pain means they have a bone disease. Serious disorders of the back account for 5% of all back pain cases. Again, they can be spotted by a trained physical or physiotherapist so don’t get yourself in a panic by undertaking research on google for your back pain. Getting it checked out by a medical professional is a much better optiion
Hopefully that has shed some light on some of the common ‘advice tips’ that you hear about back pain. So, the next time the friendly neighbour from down the road tells you to lay up in bed for a few days because that’s what they did when they hurt their back, smile and nod but don’t follow their advice. There is a good reason why they might still be suffering with back pain.
Remember that professional advice is not hard to get and if you are worried about your back pain then call my clinic and we can help and advise you over the phone, even before you have to take any action.
Or if you would like to start the process to easing your back pain today then download your Free TIps Guide on back pain.