Back pain is highly common and most often causes a huge amount of worry and avoidance of exercise and movement. Many misconceptions exist towards back pain which can be quite damaging to our health and overall lifestyle. Here at Athboy Physiotherapy & Pilates we specialise in the treatment of low back pain and clinical pilates. Below are some of the common myths surrounding back pain that we address when managing our clients.
‘I should rest to help my back pain’: Not true! Research has proven that exercise and physical activity is the best thing for a healthy spine. Here at Athboy Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic our rehabilitation and Pilates classes focus on strengthening the spine and surrounding areas to ensure optimal spinal strength and flexibility.
‘Movement of my back will make it worse’: The spine is designed to move, it is fantastically strong and needs to be able to move freely in order to remain healthy. The spine needs variation in movement, it has to be able to flex forwards, sideways, extend and rotate in order to remain strong and serve its purpose in our body. Restricting our spine from movement and exercise will only serve to weaken our backs and may even cause further back pain.
‘Back pain means my spine is damaged’: Pain is multi-factorial and does not equal damage in most cases especially where back pain is concerned. When we have back pain and discomfort it is important to consider what triggers this rather than thinking that the problem lies within the structure of your spine. It’s also important to remember your spine is extremely stable and very capable of movement, strength, endurance and flexibility.
I need an MRI scan to see what is wrong with my back: Many of us are led to believe that the use of a scan will help to diagnose the cause of our back pain. However, in most cases this is not true. A scan is indicated in a very small percentage of cases to rule out serious or sinister pathologies. Back pain is very treatable without an MRI. Current research has proven that the role of MRI scans is extremely limited in the management of back pain as the findings in the scan poorly correlate to the symptoms people experience with back pain. Most MRI results will show some degenerative changes, bulging discs or mention other words which sound quite scary and sinister. But in reality, degeneration of the spine is a natural and NORMAL part of aging. Just like facial wrinkles are an inevitable part of the ageing process so too are degenerative changes and bulging discs.
Join us in part 2 for information on how clinical pilates can help in the management of back pain.
Copyright © 2019 Keelan O’Connor
Written by Keelan O’Connor MISCP Chartered Physiotherapist and APPI Clinical Pilates Instructor , 2019