Below are 10 myths about back pain I hear repeatedly in practice.
1. A chiropractor will make you worse. I’ll be honest, not every chiropractor is good. As with any profession, there are people that are great and those that aren’t. However, there is nothing dangerous, risky or irreversible in a chiropractic treatment that poses any danger to making your back pain worse. Personally I take the time to listen to my patients, thoroughly examine them, explain my findings and then provide excellent adjustments. In my 9 ½ year career I’ve had no instances of making anyone worse and have created results that speak for themselves.
2. It’ll go away on its own. In my experience, very few back issues go away on their own. Much like a rattle in your car is not likely to resolve itself, your back pain isn’t either. It’s better to address it when it occurs and get it fixed before it becomes more problematic.
3. It’s just muscular. As a general rule if your back pain begins and resolves within 48-72 hours it was likely a muscular strain. If your pain progresses past that point though it’s probable that strain has caused structures such as vertebrae and discs to become involved which will then aggravate your nerves causing prolonged pain and dysfunction.
4. There is an instant cure for back pain. I’ve certainly had large numbers of patients leave my office pain-free after a single visit. However, it is common for it to take multiple treatments. Much like 1 workout cannot remove years of weight gain, there is no treatment (chiropractic or otherwise) than can instantly undo years of spinal neglect and/or injury.
5. You need surgery. A surgeon friend of mine sums it up best , “surgeries can me a miracle when necessary but are intended to be a last resort after all natural options have been exhausted.” I’ve known many people that have rushed into surgeries only to be left in pain, frustrated and with fewer options afterwards.
6. Back pain is always “serious.” Back pain can come from something as simple as a single vertebra being misaligned or something as complicated as stage 4 cancers. Interestingly, things such as misalignments and spasms that are highly correctable often cause the most pain while cancer and other serious diseases often affect the spine immensely but cause little to no pain until later stages. Just because you have back pain does not mean something ominous is occurring.
7. There is one cause for all back pain. There is not one single cause for all back pain. Rather, it is a combination of muscles, spinal structures and nerves reacting to the stresses we put upon them from our daily activities and habits that causes back pain.
8. Medication cures back pain. No one wants to be in pain and I don’t fault people for using pain medication. However, back pain is structural in nature (involves the spine, nerves, etc) and no chemical can cure that. Unfortunately pain medications carry serious implications to many of our organs and thus should be used sparingly wherever possible in favor of things designed to cure the problem rather than cover it.
9. You will instantly experience pain if there is a problem with your back. The spine often takes months or years of misalignment, degeneration and/or stress to start causing pain. I see people daily that have begun having back pain without any recent injuries. This is because the spine is capable of absorbing a lot of physical stress over a long period of time but at some point it reaches a point where it says “no more” and you begin having pain. Worst of all that pain often begins with something simple like getting dressed or bending over.
10. There is only one cure for back pain. As a chiropractic patient and chiropractor I can obviously attest to the effectiveness of adjustments in relieving and curing back pain. However, I know talented acupuncturists, massage therapists and exercise specialists (just to name a few) that also get great results in this regard. Depending on the cause of your back pain one thing may work better than the rest or they may all be effective.
Dr. Kenney has won multiple awards for “Best Chiropractor” and specializes in helping patients achieve their goals of better health and pain relief. For more information please visit www.NewBodyChiro.com, find us on Facebook (New Body Chiropractic & Wellness Center) or call (303) 347-9906.