4 myths about back pain remedies

Back pain has been around forever, so it's not surprising that there's a host of myths and different ideas about how to treat it. If you tell someone you're in pain, you might get some sound medical advice, or you might hear a tall tale about an old remedy that's rumored to work. What's true and what isn't?

Surgery isn't always the answer to back pain.Surgery isn't always the answer to back pain.

We can't discuss  every single pain treatment in the world here, but we can look at some of the consensus around different procedures. 

  • Risk factors: There certainly are factors that increase your risk of back pain, but they may not be what you think. Weight, age and genetics might seem to be factors (and they could be), but it isn't always as clear cut as that. Because of the sheer number of factors and the frequency of back pain, don't mistakenly think you're safe if you don't match the stereotypes.
  • Standing vs. sitting: Sitting down has a bad rap, and many think that typical office chairs can be dangerous. However, there are ways to sit and get the proper support, or switch your position between sitting and standing for variety.
  • Surgery: Going under the knife isn't always the answer. California Doctor of the Orthopaedic Specialty Institute Medical Group of Orange County Jeremy Smith told the Huffington Post this in 2014. "The overwhelming majority of patients that have an episode never require surgery," he said. "Most back problems are treated with non-operative measures, such as activity modification, anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy."
  • Taking rest breaks: Many sources have commented on this one, including that same Huffington Post article. Despite what it might seem, prolonged rest might be counter-productive for pain. While the source didn't mention this, there's the effect of lying on an uneven surface like a couch to consider, too, since this could be a bad influence on your back without you realizing it. Other forms of rest might be preferable to simply lying down for extended periods of time.

Consult your health care provider at Bronston Chiropractic or our Medical Division Community Care Clinic to learn more about the right treatments.