People that are and have suffered from back pain can attest to the fact that it can debilitate and put life on hold. Facts and myths about the back are everywhere and sometimes it is difficult to tell the difference between the two. This article will cover some of the myths and some of the facts to help distinguish between them.
Injuries are Not the Only Cause of Back Pain
Many people believe that back pain is caused by accidents resulting in an injury to the back; this is not true. There are other factors that can cause pain in the back such as diseases, infections, disc degeneration, or inherited conditions. If one is suffering from back pain finding the root of the problem is important so that the issue can be addressed before it becomes worse. Lifting heavy objects in an incorrect manner can often cause back pain though usually temporary, but if the action is repeated time and time again permanent damage could occur. Eventually most people have to lift something heavy and they can avoid injury by doing so correctly; squat close to the object to be lifted, keep the back straight and the head facing forward and use the power from the leg muscles to rise with the object. Never twist or turn while lifting; this could cause serious injury to the back.
Straight is not Always Best
Mom always tells you to sit up straight; that slouching is bad for your back and posture. She was not one hundred percent correct; too much time sitting straight up can be a strain on the back as well. If you are confined to a desk and find yourself sitting a majority of the day put a little thought into what you can do to help the back. Occasionally lean back in you chair with your feet on the ground and put a slight curve in the back to give it a stretch. Make a concerted effort to get out of that chair and stand for a while; maybe while reading work materials or talking on the phone. When the work day is over and the fatigue is settling in give your back a boost by performing some light yoga stretches to keep it strong and healthy.
Support the Back
Our back is a large part of support for our bodies, so we should make certain that we treat it right and give it the proper support. Start with where you sleep and determine if you have the correct mattress. Firmer is not necessarily better; some studies have proven that persons sleeping on a medium to firm bed rather than firm tend to have less back pain. Maybe you sleep posture isn’t great and it’s causing you problems. Talk to your doctor about getting a sleep pillow that can help with support while in slumber. There a number of shoe inserts now available that can help improve back support ranging from hard foam to gel materials. Another big myth is that rest is always best for back pain; in reality spending one to two days being immobile may actually cause the pain to worsen. Keeping yourself at a healthy weight is another factor in the battle against back pain; obesity can increase back pain and being super skinny does not mean there will be no back pain.
It Doesn’t Have to Mean Surgery
There are many options available to alleviate back pain so don’t jump to the conclusion that surgery is the only option. Working with a chiropractor is often a solution for many people. The simple manipulation of the spine can do a lot of good and acupuncture has been proven to help in some cases as well. Talking with your doctor to develop an exercise regime designed to strengthen the back is definitely a great place to start.
Donna Lee Jane writes on health and well-being for DearJane. Donna is a nurse with two decades of experience shares with you this article on Back Pain