Back pain, whether it lasts for a few days, months, or even years, can keep you from enjoying the activities you love. The experience of pain can affect your whole life – forcing changes in your lifestyle, job, and relationships. It can even lead to reliance on dangerous pain medication.
Back pain is a symptom that most people will endure at some point in their lives. If you are one of them, it’s likely that you’ve heard some common myths about back pain that are not true. These myths can even be harmful and prevent you from getting the care that you need. Here are some of them – debunked.
Myth: Rest Is Best
If your back hurts when you move, you may be tempted to stay in bed. But in some cases, getting too much rest could make your muscles weaken or atrophy, leading to even more back pain. Movement and exercise help increase circulation and strengthen muscles. Red blood cells stimulate healing in the short term, and stronger core muscles can prevent back pain from coming back. Even gentle stretches and light walking can make a difference.
Myth: Herniated Discs Always Cause Back Pain
Arthritis in the spine and the effects of gravity as people age can cause pressure on the spinal discs that allow flexibility of movement and protect bones and nerves. A disc becomes herniated when pressure causes a part of the soft, jelly-like interior to protrude from the protective cartilage on the outside. Although a herniation can cause irritation on a spinal nerve, there are often no symptoms at all.
Myth: Imaging Tests Always Detect Causes of Back Pain
Imaging tests such as MRI can show what is going on with your spine with amazing detail. The problem is that many spine conditions have no symptoms. If you have lower back pain and show a disc bulge or herniation in that area, a provider could conclude incorrectly that it is the cause. However, there’s a possibility that the true cause of the pain remains hidden. A skilled and experienced back pain doctor will know when to keep looking.
Myth: Medical Treatment for Back Pain Means Surgery
Surgery is seldom the right answer for back pain. Many other conservative treatments may be more effective than spinal surgery. There’s no reason to let the possibility of surgery scare you away from seeing a back pain specialist. Advanced treatments for pain, like ultrasound-guided injections and regenerative medicine techniques, have helped thousands of people with back pain feel better.
Myth: Narcotics Are the Only Kind of Medication That Helps
In addition to being dangerous for long-term use, narcotic painkillers are not always the most effective medication for back pain. Over-the-counter medicine that is anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen is often successful at relieving back pain. Prescription anti-inflammatories and steroids may also help.
Back Pain Experts in Colorado
At STAR Spine & Sport, our experienced pain doctors help people with back pain recover without surgery. As part of a comprehensive plan that is unique to each patient, our doctors provide advanced pain management treatments like injections, PRP therapy, stem cell therapy, and prolotherapy.
Our patients find relief from both acute and chronic pain and immobility. To make an appointment at one of our convenient locations in Golden, Westminster, or Denver, call our office at (303) 238-4277, or fill out our form online to request an appointment.