If you have had back problems for any length of time, chances are you have come across some advice about how to manage these issues. There are many myths or shall I call them “false beliefs” that float around when you start getting older & to top it if you have joint or specifically back problems.
So before we even consider any ideas on how to help these spine and joint issues, it is important to take a look at these false beliefs.
Let’s dive into these in detail here:
Bed-Rest could easily be the most harmful false belief that you could have come across when it comes to back pain. Bed-rest used to be a very old school methodology of treating back pain when science had not caught up. However, more & more new research has supported that Movement especially RIGHT movements are the best solution when you have an acute episode of Back Pain.
2. Back Pain is caused by Tight Hamstrings:
Have you ever heard of one of these? Chances are if you have had back pain for a while & you have been around looking for solutions, you most likely have.
Let me explain how this theory cannot be further from the truth & you can give your poor hamstrings a break from stretching. Having good hamstrings flexibility or being able to touch your toes is not a bad thing but clinical research has found no correlation between tight hamstrings & having back pain.
That is because most pain emanates from discal tissue, nerves or maybe even facet joints. So having tight hamstrings will have absolutely no effect on these structures & thereby on your back pain.
3. Back Pain is caused by Weak Core:
This is a very controversial one and I will do my best to break it down for you. Almost every patient with a diagnosis of “back pain and sciatica” or any other spinal issue gets the same advice of strengthening their core?
But Is strengthening your core REALLY the answer to all your back related problems? What does Research say about it? Let’s stop and take a look. Most of the recent Research about low back pain & sciatica issues talks about MOVEMENT in a specific direction or Directional Preference. Put Simply, that means doing the RIGHT movements for your spinal condition. That would be different for every individual and needs to be determined by a specific form assessment called Mechanical Diagnosis and Treatment (MDT) or Mckenzie Method.
4. My Back hurts, let me go get a Massage:
If you are being honest then you have either said these words yourself or heard a friend or family member say it. We all like getting massages and it is a great way to relax and unwind and it may even improve some blood-flow to the general area. But to claim that it will actually SOLVE your back problem or help you get active or walk longer or play golf again is far from the truth.
It is mostly like putting a band-aid on your wound. It would not do much to address the root cause of your problem or even help you walk longer. It may make you FEEL better for a little bit but it won’t take long for you to find yourself in the same situation as you were before you got that massage.
5. Back Problems Start with One Incident or Episode:
Majority of Back problems have started from changes that accrue from years of postural stresses and lifestyle factors that our spine goes through from repeated bending forward - may it be lifting suitcases, doing laundry, cleaning, gardening, yard work etc. and postural stress of sitting.
Sitting has become a big part of our lives now. Our ancestors used to move around a lot more. And our joints are built to move. They are not designed to be in one position for several hours.
So all these contributing factors for days, months & years add up and start to make the collagen tissue in our disks & spine weak and eventually one fine day, it is one episode of bending forward to pick up a pen or lift a weight that throws out your back.
Want to learn more?
If you or someone you know has long standing back problems and never got a full resolution consider working with a Mckenzie Method Speciality practice like ours.
You can apply to be a patient by filling out the short Inquiry Form here. You will meet our specialist (in-person or video), talk about your problem and decide if we are the right fit for you
If you’re interested in learning more about your Posture related Back Pain & Sciatica issues,
then feel free to request a Copy of our limited edition E-Book on this very topic right here! This Guide is specifically written for people who experience Back Pain or Sciatica problems emanating from their Posture.