Preventative measures when it comes to trying to keep your back healthy are everywhere. Everyone from the doctor to the weekend warrior knows ways to try and keep your back healthy. But once you look at it all together, from sitting up straight to making sure not to lift heavy things it seems as though you can’t avoid hurting your back right? Wrong! Just like any preventative measure there are always myths. Often you can do many of the things people say you should avoid, you just have to do them correctly. Read on and see what I mean.
Myth 1 – Always Sit up Straight
Slouching is bad, but sitting up too straight and still for long periods can also be a strain on your back. Think about it his way; in order for your body to hold any position, muscles must be flexed. After hours of muscles being flexed in the same position they can become tired or cramped. To combat this take breaks a few times a day, this will help those muscles relax.
Myth 2: Don’t Lift Heavy Things
It’s not necessarily how much you lift, its how you do it. Proper lifting form uses the maximum amount of muscle groups to achieve a movement. Improper form when lifting an object causes only a few muscle groups to take on the strain, risking injury.
Myth 3: Bed Rest Is the Best Cure
Resting is an essential part of recovery, in fact it’s one of the best, and most overlooked, things you can do. Often muscle injuries to your back are caused by an over use of those muscles. However, leading a sedentary lifestyle is no better.
Remember; the body adapts to the work we put it through. So make sure not to rest so much that your muscles begin to atrophy.
Myth 4: Pain Is Caused by Injury
Disc degeneration, diseases, infections, and even inherited conditions can make your back hurt, too. It’s always a good idea to check with your doctor first.
Myth 5: More Pounds, More Pain
Extra pounds can put more strain on your body, but you have to ask yourself what kind of pounds am I putting on? Putting on extra muscle has a very different affect on the body than putting on extra fat does. Adding more muscle adds more strength to the body; this makes it so you can handle the extra strain more weight adds.
Myth 6: Skinny Means Pain-Free
Anyone can get back pain. People who are too thin, such as those with an eating disorder like anorexia, may have bone loss. They’re more likely to get broken bones and crushed vertebrae.
Myth 7: Exercise Is Bad for Back Pain
This is a big one. Regular exercise prevents back pain. A physical therapist can recommend exercises for people who have recently hurt their back. They’ll usually start with gentle movements and gradually build up the intensity. Once the immediate pain goes away, an exercise plan will help keep it from coming back.
Myth 8: I can’t do my favorite activities anymore
Absolutely untrue!! Your injury may prevent you from participating in your favorite activities for now, but if you find out what’s causing your pain and take steps to heal it properly, you can always get back to the things you love.
Myth 9: I have back pain so I will need surgery
Only a very small percentage of people who suffer from back pain will need to undergo surgery. There are a number of alternatives in caring for back pain that can be explored with your physician to avoid surgical procedures, including minimally invasive procedures.
Myth 10: It’s all in my head
Pain is a very real thing and should never be dismissed. Pain can take a lot of energy, induce stress, and have negative effects on the immune system. If pain is interfering with daily activities it is important to seek professional solutions right away to promote long term healing.
Myth 11: I will just have to live with the pain
You should never just accept body pain. It is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong. There are countless options for pain relief. Have regular spinal check-ups, practice recognized self-care and see a health professional.