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Staying active during the winter months can be a challenge. But one thing is for certain. Whether you’re sitting at your desk longer than before or you’re now more active than ever, back pain doesn’t discriminate.
And even though you’re more likely to experience back pain as you age, it’s safe to say that most people will experience back pain at some point in their lives.
Over the years, you may have heard a few theories about what actually causes back pain and what to do when the pain interferes with your daily life. But do you have the right facts?
Here are some common myths surrounding back pain and the truth behind them.
1. This pain is so intense, I should probably head straight to the emergency room.
Evidence shows that most low back pain cases are manageable and do not require an emergency visit.
When should you go to the ER? Go to the emergency room if you are experiencing a loss of sensation in the saddle area or if you have lost bowel or bladder control. Otherwise, your best first step is to find a musculoskeletal expert such as a chiropractor to diagnose and treat the cause of your low back pain. If the cause of your pain is serious enough to warrant the emergency room, these specialists will immediately send you there.
When pain affects your quality of life you want help today, not tomorrow. Call Pickering Village Chiropractic & Massage and our staff will do their best to get you assessed quickly. Call us at 905-427-3202 to book an appointment.
2. If I’m in a lot of pain, there must be a lot of damage.
Pain is a sensation that acts as a warning system for your brain. Many things can cause that warning system to go off. A musculoskeletal expert can help you figure out if your pain is related to your joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments or nerves. It’s important to remember that intense pain doesn’t necessarily mean that there is significant damage.
3. All I need is to stretch my back.
Before you stretch, it’s important to get checked out to see if stretching is the right thing to do. Depending on the reason your back is hurting, certain stretches can make things worse. For example, if you have a disc problem, then you may want to avoid stretches that flex the spine and put additional pressure on the discs. A chiropractor can help you get to the root cause and show you which exercises and stretches will help.
4. Applying heat will help relieve my back pain.
Applying heat may make the inflammation of your joint, surrounding muscles and ligaments worse. Ice is the way to go for at least the first three days of short-term (acute) pain.
5. Pain is the main indication that something is wrong.
Your back may be in trouble and you may not feel it. Restricted movement or discomfort in your arms, legs and shoulders are also indications of spinal problems.
6. I need an X-ray, CT or MRI to figure out why I have back pain.
The reality is that most causes of acute low back pain will not show up on an X-ray, CT or MRI. A qualified healthcare provider is trained to know when you should have diagnostic imaging done, and they have a series of other tests they can do to help you get to the bottom of what is going on.
7. Now that my back pain is gone, I can stop doing my exercises.
Once the pain stops, many people stop doing the things that helped them get rid of the pain. It is important to make healthy back care and exercise a part of your regular routine. Otherwise, your back pain is likely to return.
If you’re experiencing back pain, consider visiting the chiropractic and massage therapy team at Pickering Village Chiropractic & Massage. We help our patients build better pathways to overall wellness, as well as provide relief from back pain and muscle aches. Contact our clinic today at 905-427-3202.