When you have got back pain or back problems, what comes to your mind?
There are so many misleading informations about back pain or back problems in society. Sometimes there is someone saying that exercise can hurt your back, or, if you see a doctor, you will always end up in surgery. Is that true?
Back pain is a problem that is fairly common with so many causes. Educate yourself with correct information about back problems, so you can get appropriate treatment for your complaint. Here are some myths and facts about back pain and back problems.
1. Myth: Pain management is the last effort for treating chronic problems when everything else fails.
Fact: In medicine, prevention is the key. However, when pain occurs, the best chance of alleviating pain permanently is to address it early on and aggressively. This not only allows you to return to your normal activities pain free, but also prevents your pain from becoming a chronic problem.
2. Myth: Pain is a normal process of aging.
Fact: Aging does not have to be a painful process. As we age, pain becomes more a prevalent problem. This does not mean we must live with the pain. When pain begins to persist beyond several weeks, consider seeking an evaluation by a pain specialist. Realizing that the best treatment outcomes occur when pain is addressed early, it is recommended to seek professional care, so that your current pain does not turn into a lifelong problem.
3. Myth: I need to see a spine surgeon for my back problems not a pain specialist.
Fact: Most cases will resolve with conservative therapies, but they have a better chance of resolving your pain if therapies are started early in the course of your pain. This even includes cases where you have herniated disc and even disc fragments that are pinching nerves in your low back or neck.
After your teenage years, many people begin to have degenerated, bulging discs and arthritis in the spine. The good news is that despite these changes occurring in your spine, most of the time, it does not cause any pain. However, what happens when you start having low back and/or neck pain? Once again, the good news is that the vast majority of cases do not need surgery, especially early on during the course of your pain. There are very specific criteria where surgery is necessary on an acute basis, but luckily these are few and far between.
4. Myth: If you go to a spine surgeon, you’ll always end up having surgery.
Fact: Not necessarily. There are some spine conditions that require surgery, but the vast majority of back problems are resolved without surgery. Surgery may be appropriate for patients who have exhausted conservative options. It all depends on your unique medical condition.
5. Myth: Pain Management interventional procedures for back pain are only a temporary.
Fact: This is not accurate, the vast majority of cases can be treated, especially early on during the course of your pain. Like any other tissue in your body, it has the natural ability to heal itself on its own without surgical intervention, and pain interventional procedure helps you not to be in pain by controlling the damaging inflammatory process, which in turn accelerates healing.
6. Myth: Bed rest is the best thing for a back pain.
Fact: Instead, the best thing for your back is gentle exercise. Walking, for example, gets you into a more neutral, upright alignment. Gentle, easy stretching may help as well. Make sure you are under doctor or licensed physical therapists supervision.
7. Myth: Exercise can hurt your back.
Fact: With professional guidance under a licensed physical therapist, exercise can help strengthening the muscles that support your spine. A strong, well-conditioned back can withstand more stress and stabilize the spine better.
8. Myth: Herniated discs need to be surgically repaired.
Fact: The intervertebral discs, located between the vertebral bodies of your spine, act to cushion the spine against stress. These discs may rupture, or herniate, if the outer layer of the disc weakens. The jelly-like center of the disc leaks, irritating the nearby nerves and causing back and leg pain. Dr. Buzanowska (from Cleveland Clinic for Spine Health) says, more than 90 percent of herniated disc get better on their own with short rest or with treatment, such as physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications or spine injections.
9. Myth: Magnetic resource imaging (MRI) scans always show the source of back pain.
Fact: MRI can demonstrate annular tears, herniated discs and nerve compression. MRI scans do not show weak muscles or many other disorders that contribute to back pain. MRI also will show the normal, age-related wear and tear that may be misleading as to the source of back pain sometimes.
10. Myth: Pinched nerves cause severe back pain.
Fact: That can sometimes be true. Usually, an irritated or compressed nerve in your spine causes pain in your leg and foot.
11. Myth: Epidural Steroid Injections will make me gain weight.
Fact: Single injection dose of steroid is equivalent to far less dose than what normal body produces on daily basis from your suprarenal glands. Steroids and weight gain are of a concern mainly with Systemic (Oral or Intravenous) Steroids for systemic diseases e.g. Rheumatoid Arthritis.