Low back pain is common. At some point in their lives, 80% to 90% of the adult population will experience low back pain. Unfortunately, studies show that many people with low back pain don’t get treatment that aligns with best evidence-based practices.
Here are 5 common misconceptions associated with low back pain:
Misconception #1: Spinal manipulation (mobilizing the joints in the spine) is the best method for treating low back pain.
A study showed that exercise was proven to be more effective than manipulation (only 10% required manipulation).
Misconception #2: Ultrasound and electrical stimulation are proven to aid recovery from low back pain.
These types of passive treatments provide no long-term benefit, do not treat the underlying problem, and do not speed healing time for those with lower back pain. Utility of these modalities is primarily in the interest of pain “management” but has no curative value.
Misconception #3: Lower back pain is caused by inflammation.
Inflammation does occur in certain conditions, and may be present when low back pain is acute. However, the majority of low back pain is mechanical and responds well to mechanical treatments such as prescribed exercise, aerobic exercise, stabilization, stretching, and posture education.
Misconception #4: Low back pain is caused by arthritis.
While studies show that arthritis is present in over 90% of those between the ages 50-55, only 10% experience arthritis-related pain. Arthritis is associated with aging, but not always associated with pain.
Misconception #5: You should rest and avoid or stop activity if you are experiencing low back pain.
It is recommended that you exercise and get active and mobile as soon as possible.
If low back pain keeps you from moving and enjoying life, a physical therapist can help. Physical therapists are movement experts. They improve quality of life through hands-on care, patient education, and prescribed movement. You can contact a physical therapist directly for an evaluation. If your lower back pain has been nagging your for more than a week contact us to see what can be done to start resolving your symptoms as early as your first visit.