March 25, 2012

Five Things To Know About Low Back Pain

  1. Your back does not “just give out”.   Acute back pain is usually a result of some type of chronic condition.  Poor posture, foot, knee, neck or hip problems can cause it.  Repeated movements, especially those done with the body out of alignment, can eventually affect the back.  Leading a sedentary life or being overweight are also factors that will eventually cause the back to “give out”. 

  2. MRI results may have little to do with back pain: Studies estimate that up to 35% of the population has a herniated or bulging disc and NO back pain, and, that up to 95% of people with back pain have a normal MRI.

  1. Stretching will not cure back problems.  Most people with back pain have a combination of weak and tight muscles.   Stretching alone is not enough to address the problems.

  1. Ice is better for acute back pain than heat.  Heat is good for chronic pain, but when the chronic becomes acute, ice will help with any inflammation, and act as a pain reliever better than heat.

  1. Generic back exercises may cause more harm than good.  If your doctor or chiropractor hands you a sheet of preprinted exercises there is a good chance the handout will be over 30 year old, and the exercises will not address the cause of your back pain.  In fact, I recently saw a sheet that recommended sit-ups and cat backs for someone who already has a rounded back. 

So what can you do for your back?   Stay posted.


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