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5 Myths About Back Pain

Tuesday, 07 Dec 2010 12:34 PM

There are many myths about back pain including:
Myth 1: The spine can be easily injured.
Fact: One of the most common back pain myths is that compared with the rest of the body, the spine - being extremely delicate - is more prone to injury and can be easily injured. The truth is, that the spine is not delicate, as the muscles, tendons, and ligaments that support and surround the spine render it a very well designed and sturdy structure that is both supportive and flexible.

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Myth 2: Lower back pain increases with age and becomes debilitating.
Fact: One myth is that lower back pain at a younger age gradually gets worse as we grow older. Research suggests that, on average, lower back pain reaches its peak between the ages of 35 and 55. After the age of 55, back pain treatment may be required to treat the problem of disc degeneration that occurs as part of the aging process as a natural phenomenon. Spinal paralysis is not genetic and lower back pain is not among its symptoms. However, spinal tumors, spinal infections, and unstable spine fractures do increase the risk of spinal paralysis.
Myth 3: Causes of back pain are hereditary.
Fact: You cannot assume that your lower back pain is due to a genetic predisposition. Parents play absolutely no role in passing their lower back pain on to you.
Myth 4: Causes of back pain can only be discovered by expensive MRI scans.
Fact: High-end diagnostic tests like MRI are not the only way to diagnose the underlying causes of back pain. This is one of those back pain myths that have no scientific basis whatsoever. While a good physical examination and a thorough analysis of a person’s medical history usually suffice in understanding the causes of back pain, only a few specific cases need diagnostic tests. This usually happens when the patient does not respond to any appropriate common back pain treatments. While the results of an MRI scan may suggest certain spinal abnormalities, there is enough medical evidence to prove that people with no lower back pain can sometimes have more serious problems and abnormalities like a herniated disc or a degenerative disc as revealed by their MRI results. In addition, lower back pain cannot be assumed to be a good indicator of the severity of spinal damage.

Myth 5: Active people don’t need back pain treatment.
Fact: Athletes, sportspersons, and home makers who lead an active life assume that they will never need back pain treatment. While a good amount of physical activity provides quicker back pain relief if the body is well-conditioned, there is no hard and fast rule that states that active individuals are less prone to lower back pain compared to sedentary individuals. Irrespective of the level of activity, an individual may need back pain treatment. In fact, some sports such as golf, volleyball, and gymnastics can sometimes lead to back pain.

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