5 Myths & Misconceptions About Lower Back Pain

5 Myths & Misconceptions About Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain is a very common condition, with 80% of adults experiencing it at some point in their lives. However, despite the high prevalence, low back pain is rarely serious and much can be done by patients to self-manage the condition. Pilates or physical therapy is a great way to help and prevent back issues.

Below are some common myths and misconceptions about back pain which frequently impede recovery.

5 Common Myths & Misconceptions


1 “As I have back pain, it is best that I stay in bed and rest”  While it is important to avoid aggravating activities after the initial injury, research has shown that those who stay in bed due to low back pain have a longer recovery time than those who remain active. Therefore it is important to resume usual daily activities and exercise as soon as possible. Return to exercise can be gradual and is associated with a reduced risk of future pain and disability.picture_of_man_with_back_pain_made_worse_by_rest_in_bed_walking_tall_chiropractor_Goa_india

2 “The more back pain I have, the more my spine is damaged”  More pain does not necessarily mean more damage. Different levels of pain can be experienced by people who have similar back injuries.  Many factors can influence the degree of pain experienced including mood, stress levels, fitness, fear of injury and individual coping mechanisms.

3 “I hurt my back, so it is likely I will have a bad back from now on”  While low back pain can be very painful, most people will recover well with no significant changes to their quality of life. While occasional episodes of low back pain are common amongst the general population, these are rarely disabling. Few people experience long-standing disabling problems with low back pain.

4 “I need a scan or X-ray for my back pain” In the majority of cases of low back pain X-rays and scans are not required. Every year large sums of money are wasted on unnecessary X-rays and scans for low back pain. In only a small number of cases will these tests actually contribute to better management of the problem. Even adults with no previous history of low back pain will exhibit normal ‘wear and tear’ on these scans. A simple clinical examination will identify the minority of people for whom scans are required.

5 “My back pain is due to something being out of place’” This is not true. Typical low back pain is not caused by a bone or joint in your back being out of place, or your pelvis being out of alignment. While having your back manipulated may ease your pain in the short term nothing has been put back in place as there was never anything out of place, to begin with!

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If you have any concerns about back pain you are experiencing and would like to make an appointment with Ciaran or any of our therapists please contact info@the-elbowroom.com or phone 01 6779859.

About the author: Ciaran Aherne

Ciaran Aherne

Ciarán Aherne – BSc, BA, MIAPT – Ciarán completed his BSc in Physical Therapy in the Institute of Physical Therapy in Milltown, Dublin. He is a member of the Irish Association of Physical Therapists. Ciarán also has a certificate in Massage Therapy. As a Physical Therapist, Ciarán uses a range of manual techniques and “hands-on” therapy to assist rehabilitation from musculoskeletal injuries, back and neck pain, postural problems, sprains/strains and sports injuries among other issues. Treatments are tailored to each individual but can include; myofascial trigger-point release, deep tissue massage, mobilisation of the spine and specific exercise prescription. Ciarán has treated people from a variety of sporting backgrounds e.g. running, basketball, soccer, Gaelic football, hockey. Prior to his Physical Therapy studies, Ciarán completed a degree in Leisure and Recreation Management and has worked extensively with athletes involved in the Special Olympics.

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The elbowroom has an extensive range of classes for all ages and abilities. We offer such an eclectic mix to enable you to find something that will suit you. If you need any advice, please contact our class advisor who can point you in the right direction.