Millions of men and women – and even teens – suffer from back pain, so it’s no wonder there are a lot of misconceptions about what causes it and how to treat it. Here’s a list of some of the most common myths surrounding back and neck pain:
• Sit up straight. While good posture can prevent back pain from occurring in some cases, once you have a back problem, sitting up straight might cause more pressure and pain than bending slightly. When in doubt, ask your doctor about the best position for your condition.
• Get plenty of bed rest. The back is designed to move, and as long as you don’t overdo it, studies indicate it’s good to get some activity to keep the back flexible. Just be sure to follow your doctor’s orders when it comes to any type of physical activity, especially if you have chronic back pain.
• A few extra pounds won’t affect your back. Actually, even a minor weight gain can place extra strain on your spine and your discs, throwing your back out of alignment and contributing to disc degeneration. If you’re overweight, ask your doctor about healthy ways to exercise to shed pounds.
• All you need is a really firm mattress. In fact, a slightly softer mattress can help distribute your weight more evenly when you sleep, relieving pressure on your hips and shoulders. Just avoid a too-soft mattress, which can impede movement and cause stiffness.
• Surgery is the best way to resolve back pain issues. It’s true, today’s minimally invasive procedures can be a fantastic choice for some conditions. Even so, other more conservative approaches should be tried first when appropriate, with surgery being used when those approaches fail to achieve relief.
• Heavy lifting is OK, as long as you do it correctly. If you must life, bending from your knees and using your legs while holding the object close to your body is the best way to go; but if you have chronic back pain, it’s best to avoid strenuous lifting entirely.
If you have any kind of back pain, seeing a doctor is the first step toward making sure you’re managing it correctly. Call Microsurgical Spine today at 253-841-8939 and schedule an evaluation so you can get on the road to better health.