What do you do when you’re sick, or injured, or have a cut? I bet a lot of us, “just google it.” We wonder what it could be, where it came from, what are the symptoms and side effects. Then we diagnose ourselves from online information!
Anywhere from a slight cold to cancer, if we read something and think we have symptoms we just go ahead and diagnose ourselves.
Funny, right? Actually no. Even though there is a lot of credible information online, there is also information that is not true.
Back pain seems to be a confusing topic. When we say back pain you could fall into three different categories; upper back pain, lower back pain or middle back pain. We hear things about treatments or books that supposedly have all the right answers. All this friendly advice is great, but is it helping? While some people find relief quickly, others don’t find it until they’ve spent all their pennies and walked down a long dark road of pain.
So, to help, let’s talk about what is NOT true about upper, lower and middle back pain. This article attacks some common myths about back pain – the causes, diagnoses, and treatments.
8 myths about back pain
1. Back pain gets worse as you get older
You probably think that you’re cute grandma, who is 89 and uses a walker has worse back pain than you. That is most likely wrong! Upper, lower and middle back pain is more common in younger people, ages 30-50. Research suggests that after 55, people will usually have less pain. Disc degeneration is a natural part of getting older that will cause stiffness in the spine. But, this is not always accompanied by pain if you take the right lifestyle approach.
If you do begin to suffer from upper, lower or middle back pain and don’t do anything about it, it can definitely get worse. People who have back pain should try to manage and relieve their pain to maintain their ability to function. If correct treatment for relief is followed, the back pain will often diminish over time.
2. Get the firmest mattress you can find
Why not just sleep on the hardwood floor if you’re just going to get the firmest mattress possible? Um, because that will not help my back pain.
Several studies suggest that people who suffer from upper, lower and middle back pain will benefit more from a medium-firm mattress than an extra firm. CBS News tells us why: If a mattress is too firm, it won’t support the body evenly and can cause pain at the heaviest points like the hips and shoulders. If the mattress is too soft, you could sink into the bed and have a harder time moving, which could cause stiffness, pain and waking up on the wrong side of the bed. Studies also show that a medium-firm mattress offers an ideal amount of support to help prevent further injury.
Just like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, a medium-firm mattress is, not too soft, and not too hard, but JUST RIGHT. A medium-firm mattress, is going to be slightly softer and will put less compression on your body and help you sleep pain free. It will also have the right amount of firmness to support the spine and allow proper movement.
One size does NOT fit all when mattress shopping. Medium-firm may not be the right mattress for you. When choosing your mattress, be away of your sleep habits and if sleeping causes pain.
3. Medications are more effective than hands-on therapy
Many people think that all they have to do to make the pain go away is to take a painkiller. With greater risk of side effects, painkillers can only take the pain away for a time. There are many other options to relieving back pain that do not come with harmful side effects.
Hands-on therapy can include physical therapy, massage therapy, chiropractic, and using the Plexus Wheel. The Plexus Wheel will offer the right amount of pressure to the tight muscles right along the spine. It will also offer a deep stretch through the back, hips, chest, shoulders and abdomen. The Plexus Wheel is the best at-home solution for upper, lower and middle back pain.
4. Lying in bed is good for back pain
TRUTH! Sleeping and lying around is good...but not for back pain. Resting for too long can in reality cause more pain that you had before. According to Centered Spine, when we lie horizontally our discs fill with fluid and push the vertebrae away from one another. This causes stiffness in the morning until we are up and at em’ for the day. Once we are up and our spine is again vertical, the extra fluid will seep out and we will be back to our normal mobility.
Extended periods of inactivity will cause stiffness in muscles and tendons and will make it harder to move. This is why exercise is recommended for relieving and managing back pain. Staying active is important for our bodies in general and will aid in the road to recovery.
5. A scan will show me exactly what is wrong
Only a small percentage of people who have back pain and choose to get a scan will be able to see what is truly wrong with the back. For the majority, you’re just paying extra money for someone to take a picture of your back.
Healthcare professionals do recommend getting a scan in the case of severe pain or if prescribed treatment is not working. Most healthcare professionals can form an accurate diagnosis based on thorough medical history and a physical exam.
6. I’ve lived with back pain FOREVER, it will never go away
There are remedies, and treatments that can be done to relieve the back pain! Don’t lose hope. Since back pain can be associated with many different factors, treatment and relief can vary among individuals. For most people, it may take 2-3 or 4-5 different methods to relieve the pain. But that is not to say there isn’t a way!
We have listed many remedies for back pain relief in previous blog posts that can lead to a healthier, happier life without back pain. And remember, the Plexus Wheel is the BEST at-home back pain reliever.
7. If I can’t find a solution to relieve my back pain I have to get back surgery
Only a small number of people with back pain need surgery. Most people who have back pain can manage it by staying active, identifying factors that are causing them pain, therapy and a healthy lifestyle.Typically, back pain symptoms that suggest back surgery might be helpful if they occur early in the course of pain and are relatively apparent.
If it is possible to manage the pain in daily activities, surgery is not needed. Spine surgery has actually reduced the likelihood of being successful when treating chronic back pain. On average, the results for spinal surgery are no better in the medium and long-term than non-surgical interventions, such as exercise.
Surgery is more likely to be recommended if the patient has limited ability to function in everyday life.
8. I must be very careful with the things I do to protect my back and avoid more pain
In some cases, people who have back pain can actually overprotect their backs. Being too cautious about being active and injuring their back more can result in more pain and make them more susceptible to injury. Due to the lack of mobility and conditioning, the spine and muscles will weaken if protected too much.
To stay pain free, the spine needs regular exercise, stretching and strengthening to continue to support he body. Lack of exercising and stretching can lead to lack of strength and support in the spine. Unless prescribed by your doctor differently, protecting your back should include proper posture, exercise, stretching and therapy.
So who wants to get rid of their back pain? The Plexus Wheel fits perfectly between the shoulder blades targeting the muscles right along the spine to release tension. The diameter of the wheels will allow you to get a deep stretch through your entire body.