Erasing Back Pain:
How to Avoid the 9 Most Painful Mistakes and
What You Should Be Doing Instead
If you are one of the 100 million sufferers of chronic back pain, then this report is for you. Back pain is the second most common reason for medical visits. Here is a list of nine common mistakes people make when experiencing back pain and how you can avoid making those mistakes.
- Thinking “I don’t have the time to treat my pain”.
If you think you don’t have time to deal with it now, think about how you are going to handle things when the pain gets so bad you are unable to do the things that you need to do today. Many people with back pain find it difficult to work, drive or even carry out simple daily chores. A couple hours of treatment per week will be time well spent to avoid days or weeks laid up with back pain. Treatment with a Physical Therapist will typically only require a couple visits per week that last about an hour each. They will prescribe a home program for you to do daily that will take less than 30 minutes of your day. Depending upon the severity, duration and cause of your back pain will usually resolve in a few weeks and you will have tools to make sure that back pain doesn’t come back.
- Thinking “I don’t have the money to treat my back pain”.
If you take care of your back pain in the early stages, you will only need a few visits of Physical Therapy to assess where your back pain is coming from and to treat it. Often times the Physical Therapist will be able to teach you exercises you can do at home to decrease the number of visits you will need. This is far less than the copays and lost income you will have if you have to rely on pain medications or worse yet, back surgery. The longer you wait to get help, the more expensive this back pain will get.
- Taking medications for the pain.
One thing that many people do not understand is that pain medications do not do anything to heal your back pain. They only mask the symptoms. Worse than the fact that they don’t do anything to help you heal, is the list of possible side effects. They include nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, fatigue, headache, sleep problems, rash, stomach ulcers, constipation, liver damage, kidney damage, swelling of hands and feet, weight gain, osteoporosis, and increased risk of heart attack and stroke. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want any of those. The longer you use the pain medications, the more likely you are to experience some of these side effects.
- Lying in bed.
Yes, you need some rest to allow your body to heal, but not moving is one of the worst things you can do for your back. It is typically advised to try to move around and get the circulation going inside the body to speed healing. Even mild activity, such as standing and walking, is usually far better than lying about day after day. Better yet is to be evaluated by a Physical Therapist who can determine the cause of your back pain and prescribe the best exercises and activities to speed your healing.
- If I just lose a little weight it will go away.
Yes, increased weight can contribute to back pain, but often times it is not the cause of your back pain, but rather just a contributing factor that will magnify your symptoms. If you are carrying extra pounds, it is a great idea to find a healthy way to lose weight, but it is likely your back pain will only be diminished, but not resolved. If your back pain has not gone away in less than a month, you need to be evaluated to determine the true cause of your pain. If you don’t address the true cause of your back pain, it will keep coming back.
- If I just do a few stretches it will go away.
Sometimes muscle tightness does contribute to back pain, but muscle tightness is often just a symptom of the problem. Often muscles tighten to compensate for a weakness elsewhere in the body. If you do not evaluate the cause of your muscle tightness, you could actually make your pain worse by stretching out the muscles that are actually holding you up right now.
- If I just start working out it will go away.
Being fit and active are very important to our well-being. It is a great way to prevent back pain from occurring. If you haven’t been working out and decide to try to go to the gym to help your back pain, you could be making a very big mistake. If you are already experiencing back pain, you very likely have developed some poor muscle patterns that will only be exacerbated by going to the gym and pushing yourself to do a higher level of activity than what your body is accustomed to. Also, if you have been working out and you develop back pain, you likely have some muscle compensations happening that will only get worse as your workout activities continue to feed the bad patterns. It is important to be evaluated by a Physical Therapist who is trained to be able to detect these compensation patterns and will be able to teach you how to correct them.
- If I just change my mattress it will go away.
If you mattress is over 8 years old, it likely needs to be changed, but it is very unlikely that the mattress is the cause of your back pain. It is likely that the mattress is a contributing factor that is magnifying the pain, but changing your mattress is not going to eliminate your pain. It is important that you get enough sleep at night. Your body does its best healing when you are sleeping. If you are shorting yourself on sleep hours you are shorting yourself on healing and recovery. So, yes, get yourself a good mattress to improve your chances of healing and overall health, but you still need to seek professional help to get to the cause of your pain.
- The pain will go away on its own.
It’s very common for people to think that the pain will just go away on its own. Sometimes the pain will go away on its own, but a recent study showed that when back pain is not treated, it may go away temporarily but will most likely return. The study demonstrated that in more than 33% of the people who experience low-back pain, the pain lasts for more than 30 days. Only 9% of the people who had low-back pain for more than 30 days were pain free 5 years later. That means if you have back pain that has lasted for more than a month you have a 91% likelihood that the pain is not going to go away if left untreated.
Also, most causes of pain are musculoskeletal and are easily corrected with Physical Therapy, but some cause of back pain are much more serious and need medical intervention. Your Physical Therapist will be able to determine if your back pain is easily remedied or if you should seek the attention of a medical doctor.
At Coconut Creek Therapy, our therapists have years of experience treating back pain just like yours. We have successfully treated the simplest to the most complex back pain. We are experts in uncovering even the most elusive of causes of back pain. We have the latest healing modalities to speed your recovery as well as expert hands on techniques. We will teach you the correct exercises for your individual case to allow you to take an active role in your healing, which will also decrease the likelihood that you will experience back pain in the future.
Coconut Creek Therapy now at 954-972-1200 to arrange for a free phone consultation to discuss options for handling your back pain today!