The vast majority of us are likely to experience issues related to back pain at some point in our lives. In fact, it is the single leading cause of disability around the world. Somewhere between 80 and 90 percent of adults suffer from at least mild forms of back pain in their lifetimes. If not treated properly, back pain has the potential to prevent us from engaging in simple daily activities we otherwise take for granted.
Here at Longevity, we know that understanding the nature of your pain is the first step to overcoming it. It is important to stay clear of the many myths and misconceptions surrounding this largely mysterious ailment.
Dr. Darryl D. Robinson, our founder and lead physician, has helped patients in the Oklahoma City area overcome chronic back pain and related syndromes for nearly two decades. Years of service have granted us a unique level of expertise regarding chronic pain management, so we have highlighted four of the most common back pain myths patients often run into.
Chronic Back Pain Is Always Genetic
Although some studies suggest certain conditions relating to chronic back pain can be hereditary, there is not always a direct correlation between genetics and back/neck pain. Even if one or more of your parents experience chronic back pain, this does not necessarily mean you are guaranteed to go through the same turmoil.
Other common causes of chronic back pain include:
Poor physical fitness
Improper healing from an injury, such as a ligament strain or tear
Ordinary degeneration from aging
Only the Overweight Experience Chronic Back Pain
Packing on extra pounds is a surefire way to put unnecessary strain on the back, but individuals of all shapes in sizes may be at risk of developing chronic back pain. In fact, being too thin is another significant risk factor.
Underweight individuals, such as those struggling with an eating disorder, often experience some level of bone loss. This decrease in bone mass makes the skeletal system more vulnerable to breaks, fractures, and minor stressors. The vertebrae might even be crushed due to a mixture of external pressure and general frailty.
Proper Posture is a Surefire Solution
We’ve heard it from our parents, and we often find ourselves parroting the same wisdom to our children: sitting up straight is always healthier than slouching. You might be surprised to learn that this line of advice could simply be another one of grandma’s old wives’ tales.
Although excessive slouching is definitely bad for your overall health, sitting up “too” straight or still for too long can actually put stress on the spine. Experts recommend giving your back a few breaks throughout the day by allowing your back to curve slightly while keeping both feet firmly on the floor. Better yet, stand up periodically to decompress.
Rest is Always the Best Medicine
Rest is commonly prescribed to those suffering from back pain in an attempt to take some pressure off the spinal discs and to reduce any stresses affecting the pain receptors. However, although acute pain from an injury might require some downtime, a day or two of bed rest can actually make matters worse for those with chronic conditions.
Experts have found prolonged rest may trigger the following adverse effects:
Weakening of the lungs and heart
Bone mineral loss
Risk of blood clots
As it turns out, getting active through a mindful and diligent exercise regimen is one of the best ways to combat symptoms related to back pain. Increased physical fitness has the potential to make your body more resilient to injury as well as everyday wear-and-tear.
The Longevity Difference: OKC’s Experts In Chronic Pain Management
Dr. Robinson and his team of back and spine specialists pride themselves in taking a holistic approach to the diagnosis and treatment of spine and back pain. Our specialty is using innovative and integrative non-surgical treatments designed with the individual in mind.
Dr. Robinson is regarded as one of the top physicians in the region, and our staff members are among the finest medical professionals in the OKC metro area. Learn more about the Longevity team here.