The WHO organization estimates the lifetime prevalence of non-specific low back pain to lie between 60% to 70%1. Almost 3 out of 4 people will experience low back pain. As a chiropractor I am working daily helping to alleviate low back pain. I have been working through the book “Back Mechanic,” by Stuart McGill and came across an interesting chapter titled “Mythbusting”. Throughout the chapter Dr. McGill work through common myths surrounding the low back. Many of these myths I’ve seen firsthand with patients. With such a high prevalence of low back I thought it would be valuable to walk through some of these common myths with you to help clear the water.
Myth: Backs can be rehabilitated in 6-12 weeks because that is commonly the payout length of the insurance companies.
Truth: Low back pain can often be reduced quite quickly depending on the circumstances. At Venture we are striving to get you feeling better as fast as possible. We also work hard to teach you how to stay out of low back pain, because even if we get you out of pain quickly your back is still healing and it is necessary to avoid/minimize/optimize what brought you in to our office in the first place. Thus, helping you to understand what caused your pain and teaching you how to stay out of pain is crucial to your care.
Myth: Back pain is always hereditary.
Truth: Thankfully if my dad had low back pain this does not translate to me having low back pain. Though certain genetics may make someone more susceptible to low back pain, low back pain is not a life sentence.
Myth: An MRI or CT scan will provide all the information needed to determine my course of care.
Truth: MRI and CT scans can be helpful in showing an image of what the low back may look like, but often these pictures do little to tell us the cause of low back pain.
Myth: Back pain is linked to having tight hamstrings.
Truth: McGill’s research has shown that in most cases, tight hamstrings are a related symptom of back pain rather than the cause.
Myth: Lying in bed is good for back pain.
Truth: Lying in bed for excessive periods can cause increased back pain.
We value educating our patients to understand why they are experiencing low back pain and how we can help them. At Venture our goal is to help you move better, feel better and be a better you!
–Dr. Matt Casperson
Reference Article: https://www.who.int/medicines/areas/priority_medicines/Ch6_24LBP.pdf