10 FACTS you NEED to know about lower back pain!Mundaring & Hills Physio
LOWER BACK PAIN is the leading cause of DISABILITY worldwide. Unfortunately, there is a lot of mis-information in regards to lower back pain and UNHELPFUL BELIEFS can often lead to ongoing PAIN and DISABILITY.
Let’s discuss 10 lower back pain FACTS which you need to know.
1. Persistent back pain can be SCARY, but it’s rarely DANGEROUS:
Lower back pain may be disabling, but it is rarely life threatening and you are very unlikely to end up in a wheelchair.
2. Getting OLDER is NOT a cause of back pain:
Older people actually have less back pain, and research suggests that treatment can help at any age.
3. Persistent back pain is RARELY associated with SERIOUS TISSUE DAMAGE:
Your lower back is strong! 3 months after your initial injury your tissues will have healed. This means there may be other contributing factors to your ongoing back pain. These could include avoiding movement, loss of strength, your mental health or many other factors.
4. Scans RARELY show the cause of YOUR back pain:
Scans can be helpful in a small population. Often when you get a scan lots of scary things will show up (DISC BULGE, DEGENERATION, PROTRUSION, ARTHRITIS!!) But these findings are very common in people that don’t have back pain so there is no way in saying that they are actually contributing to your back pain. Scans often do not predict your back pain so you should not stress about them so much!
5. Pain with EXERCISE and MOVEMENT DOES NOT mean you are doing HARM:
Often when pain persists, it is common that the spine will become very sensitive to movement and touch. The pain you feel describes how sensitive the system has become to movement and not how much damage you are doing. It is safe and normal to experience some pain in your lower back when performing exercise.
6. Back pain is NOT caused by POOR POSTURE:
Everyone tells me they know what a good or a bad posture is. But posture actually has a limited effect on lower back pain. A variety of postures are healthy for the lower back, the only issue is if you spend too much time in one posture! If your lower back hurts in a certain position, then try to move in and out of that posture as much as possible!
7. BACK PAIN is caused by a “WEAK CORE”:
Weak core muscles do not cause back pain, but people with lower back pain may sit and activate their core for the whole day as a protective mechanism. Imagine having a sore wrist and clenching your fist the whole day. Having the core switched on at all times is not helpful, but learning to let go of the core may be helpful.
8. Your spine does not WEAR OUT with everyday LOADING and BENDING:
Lifting weights makes the muscles stronger. This is the same for the lower back. Activities such as bending/running/lifting are good for your lower back as long as they are done gradually and progressively.
9. Pain flare ups DOES NOT mean you have done DAMAGE:
Flare ups of your lower back pain are often related to poor sleep/stress/tension/anxiety/depression/inactivity/low mood/unaccustomed load rather than actual tissue damage. Controlling these factors will often decrease pain. Rather than treating flare ups like an injury we should try to remain calm, relax and keep moving!
10. INJECTIONS, SURGERY and STRONG DRUGS usually aren’t the CURE:
Spinal injections, surgery and strong drugs aren’t very effective for persistent lower back pain. These interventions can have unhelpful side effects and the risks of these interventions should be avoided.
Prior to joining our team, Lincoln was working as a mobile physiotherapist doing home visits throughout the Hills area. He believes in an active approach when treating, encouraging people to take ownership of their condition and achieving their individualised goals through simple, yet effective treatment plans.
He is also a fully qualified Pilates instructor having completed his training at our Midland clinic.
Having grown up locally, Lincoln is already an active member of the community and is the head coach of Glen Forrest Tennis Club. You will often see him at the courts after work or on weekends, either coaching or playing matches!
Lower back pain