Common Myths About Back Pain
By: Dr. Michael Rimlawi, Board-Certified, Fellowship-Trained spine surgeon and founder of Minimally Invasive Spine Institute in Dallas
Back pain is bad enough, and myths about the issue can make it worse. Roughly 8 out of 10 people in America will experience back pain at some point in their life, and being able to separate fact from fiction can be important in dealing with it and knowing when to take it easy for a while or when to get help from a spine specialist.
Myth 1 – Rest heals back pain
While rest is important and recommended for back pain, it is not always the key to a healthy recovery. Some instances require more extensive recovery methods, and rest can actually be harmful to recovery. When experiencing severe or prolonged back pain, you should always consult a doctor.
Myth 2 – Sitting up straight can prevent back pain
While slouching is bad for the back, sitting up straight for too long can strain the back. Lean back in your chair occasionally to create a curve in your back, and walk around during the day as much as possible. If you sit at a desk for long periods of time, chairs that allow you to place your weight on you legs and knees can help remove pressure from your spine. Below is a video of a few key preventative stretches from the Minimally Invasive Spine Institute that you can easily do at the office to help avoid back or neck strain.
Myth 3 – I’m active, so I won’t have back pain when I’m older
Anyone can experience back pain, regardless of their lifestyle. Being active can decrease the likelihood of back pain, but no one is immune from pain regardless of their lifestyle. Excessive weight gain can increase or lead to back pain so maintaining a healthy weight through regular exercise will help ensure a healthier spine. However, excessive or improper exercise can put extra stress on our spine. Using proper form and techniques when exercising can help protect you from injury.
Myth 4 – My spine is fragile, so I need to take it easy to avoid hurting my back
The spine is surrounded by muscles and tendons, which give it strength and flexibility. A spine without fractures is strong, and activities like walking or aerobics can strengthen it even more. If your doctors instructs you to avoid specific activities, it is important to follow his or her instructions.
Myth 5 – Since I have back pain, I must have torn something
Pain does not always equate to damage. Sensitivity from overuse can often cause pain in the back area. However, if you are experiencing intense or chronic pain, contact a spine specialist immediately.
Myth 6 – The only way I can fix my back pain is with surgery
Many of our patients at The Minimally Invasive Spine Institute don’t need surgery to relieve their pain. Through innovative pain procedures, non-surgical therapy, and rehabilitation — pain relief is possible with no incision at all.
At the Minimally Invasive Spine Institute our goal is helping patients find relief. In many cases, that means assisting them in determining the exact cause of their pain through testing and diagnostic imaging so we can accurately treat the source of their pain. Pinpointing the cause of their pain can often allow us to avoid unnecessary procedures or large surgeries.
When I opened the Minimally Invasive Spine Institute, my goal was to build a patient centric center that incorporates a team of patient care advocates, therapists, chiropractors, pain management specialists, radiologists and fellowship-trained spine specialists to work as a team to help care for our patients. No patient is ever treated the same because each patient has their own specific conditions and symptoms. Each patient’s pain is unique to them. Each one of our patients has had a customized treatment plan specific to their condition, symptoms and needs.
If you are suffering through pain and chronic symptoms contact us today to speak with one of our compassionate patient care coordinators and learn more about our effective treatment process.
Minimally Invasive Spine Surgeon, Board Certified, Fellowship-Trained
Spine Surgeon Dr. Michael Rimlawi is director and founder of the Minimally Invasive Spine Institute’s team. Dr. Rimlawi is a board-certified, fellowship-trained spine surgeon who completed unique training in both orthopedic-spine and neurosurgery-spine at the renowned University of California San Diego. Dr. Michael Rimlawi treats all aspects of spinal disease including degenerative and traumatic conditions of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine. More than just a back doctor, he is a leader in the field of minimally invasive spine surgery and a pioneer in endoscopic laser spine surgery.