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8 Things You Didn’t Know About Low Back Pain

Jul 19, 2019

Author: Yves Gege

8 Things You Didn’t Know About Low Back Pain

First off, let’s get one thing straight. Your back is strong, resilient, and adaptable…NOT, weak and fragile!

1. Rounding your back is not inherently bad for you…

This one kills me. Why would we have the ability to bend over and flex your spine just to go through life not using this ability! I’m not saying you should lift a couch by yourself, round your back, and carry it into the truck but yes its ok to pick up that piece of paper with a rounded back. There are certain circumstances where rounding your back may be unsafe but as a whole, if you’re not lifting something heavy or repeating this motion 100s of times, over 1000s of days your back will be fine. A lot of times, avoiding these movement that can lead to injury and pain. Your spine has all that freedom to move for a reason…USE IT!

2. Core strengthening is not always the answer

You don’t have a weak core. If you’re walking, talking, breathing your core works just fine. Research has not shown that specific core strengthening gives relief to back pain. Research is showing that any kind of personalized and consistent exercise program will do the trick. Move more, move often, and with purpose.

3. Deadlifting is good for you. (and carrying heavy things may be even better)

Strength training is positively correlated to good outcomes for health, pain, and life in general. Want to make your back more resilient? Learn to deadlift properly. While you’re at it…carry some heavy (for you) things too.

4. Degenerative changes are a natural part of the aging process and are poorly related to pain

The amount of degeneration and abnormality seen in the MRI and Xray images of healthy patients will blow your mind. You are not your MRI or your Xray. It’s a small piece of a bigger puzzle. We are not robots that need our parts replaced. Trust me, we are much more complex than that!. Here is one of the best articles I have found, check it out here. Here are the cliff notes: the majority of back pain is nonspecific and resolves on its own!

5. When experiencing low back pain the first thing you should do is avoid painful activities and get to walking.

I’ve echoed this a lot and spend a lot of time educating my patients on this very topic. Catastrophizing and fear avoidance behaviors are to be avoided and having honest conversation with a healthcare provider can be your most powerful tool. As you read earlier, most back pain resolves on its own and your best bet is conservative care and general exercise. Don’t freak out if your back hurts. Work slowly back into activity and if it doesn’t get better on its own or you have recurrent episodes then it may time to find a trusted healthcare provider. MAKE SURE you find one that will empower you and avoid creating fear of movement and reliance on them.

6. The best way to avoid back pain is to get stronger and start lifting heavy things

I may sound like a broken record, but your best bet to avoid/prevent back pain is not to avoid certain activities or stretch or do more core strengthening. Its to move your back naturally, often, and get under some load. We are still figuring so much out when it comes to back pain. One thing we do know is when we move under load, we’re progressively increasing our muscles, and we’ll get stronger!

7. Herniated discs can, and will, reabsorb!

There is so much data now supporting conservative care as the first and best option for low back pain. You can make a full recovery! Check out the science here.

8. There is no perfect posture, the best posture is one that is constantly varied.

Perfect posture doesn’t exist….period! I’m not saying slouching in your desk chair for 8 hours a day is good for you, but I am saying that slouching in your desk chair for a small period of time isn’t necessarily bad for you. From what I have seen and read… The perfect posture is the one that is constantly changing.

***Your body is way smarter than any doctor, physical therapist, or scientist. Listen to your body more and the internet less*** Oh, the irony that you’re reading this on the internet….

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