Three Most Common Mistakes People Make With Back Pain Recovery

There are a lot of misconceptions and old, outdated advice that is given by doctors, friends, colleagues when it comes to recovering from low back pain. This week we discuss the most common mistakes people back when trying to recover from back pain.

1. Resting

It’s a shame that so many people are told to rest and mask their pain with pain killers in a hope that it goes away on it’s own. Not only does resting slow the healing process, but can lead to scar tissue buildup which limits range of motion once we’re healed. Adding pain free movement and exercise to strength spinal stabilizers (that also place minimal load on the spine) is important to making a quick recovery from back pain.

The advice to ‘rest’ would be better said to ‘avoid activities that aggravate low back pain’ rather than avoid movement all together.

2. Stretching

Stretching is more common advice given to those with back pain. While providing short term relief, they often place our spine in positions that slow the healing process.Pulling your knees to your chest is common stretch that provides short term relief but will hurt you in the long term. Spinal twists and knee rotations also irritate your spine and discs and hurt your back in the long term.

Substitute these exercises with the Cat/Cow to get some spinal motion without further irritating the spine.

3. Back Brace

Many times we get asked if a back brace is a good thing to wear to protect the spine for daily activities. And the answer is no. Recovering from back pain requires us to engage and strengthen the muscles surrounding the spine to protect the joints and discs.

If we use a back brace to do all the work - our muscles don’t learn how to support our spine and the result is more back pain.

Back pain is one of the most common conditions we treat in the clinic. Most back pain isn’t debilitating but does cause a lot of stress and worry about keeping up on family or friend outings. We recently helped a 58 year old patient who had been dealing with back pain for the better part of a year and was worried about it limiting her activities. After a month of care that combined full body chiropractic adjustments, manual therapy with a custom exercise plan she is feeling more confident in her ability to lift her grandkids and keep up on family outings.