Secrets From a Dublin Physio Specialist: 3 Back Pain Myths DebunkedBack Pain

back pain myths

At the clinic we see plenty of people suffering from back pain – whether it’s just started or they’ve had it for years. Over the 6 years that we have been helping people with back pain become pain free we have heard plenty of stories from our patients and some of the advice they were given from other healthcare professionals. What we heard shocked us – there is a lot of wrong information out there surrounding back pain. In this blog I want to take the 3 most common myths about back pain and debunk them for you!

plank core back pain

“I’ve been told I have a weak core and it is the cause of my back pain – will working on my core help my back pain?”

The idea that a weak core results in lower back pain has been around for a long time now – and is more myth than reality. Whilst there are some studies that show short-term relief in some people as a result of specific core exercises, when compared to any other type of exercise for treating low back pain they are no more effective. A lot of these “core exercises” involve holding positions where we are tightening and tensing our muscles , including the back muscles – e.g. the plank exercise. If your back is feeling tender and sore then adding increased tension through these “core exercises” such as the plank can increase symptoms!

gp rest back pain

“My GP has told me that I have to rest and just put up with my back pain, they said it is something I will have to live with for the rest of my life, is this true?”

This is not the case and unfortunately there is a lot of incorrect information out there surrounding back pain – even from some healthcare professionals. The idea that you just have to rest and put up with your pain is incorrect and one that should be forgotten. If we simply lie down and “rest up” our bodies will become stiff and movement will become more painful! It is important to keep the body moving using gentle movements – such as rolling the shoulders, moving the legs in circles, or even just standing up every half an hour or so in work and gently moving the limbs.

I’ve been told I have poor posture even though I try my best to sit up straight throughout the day – Is my poor posture the cause of my back pain?

From the day we are able to walk and talk, a lot of us were told by our mothers to sit up straight or we would get a bad back – however I am here to tell you that your mother was wrong! There is no perfect posture for the human body and a lot of times sitting in a relaxed position that is comfortable for you is better than trying to remain straight all day. You might have had the same posture for months or years but your pain comes and goes regardless – the only bad posture is one that doesn’t change!

When we go into that position of shoulder blades pulled back, back arched and stomach muscles pulled in tight we are actually encouraging the muscles to tighten up and become stiff and irritable. So if you are constantly sat in this posture, your body can become stuck that way and irritated if you try to move out of it. When we move our bodies however, we don’t move in this stiff rigid position, we need things to be loose and able to move freely so we can carry out the activities we enjoy.

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