Five Common Myths About Low Back Pain

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Low back pain is common. At some point in their lives, 80% to 90% of the adult population will experience low back pain.

Unfortunately, studies show that many people with low back pain don’t get treatment that aligns with best evidence-based practices.

Physical therapists are movement experts who treat low back pain and improve quality of life through hands-on care, patient education, and prescribed movement. You can contact a physical therapist directly for an evaluation.

Here are five common myths associated with low back pain:

Myth 1: Spinal manipulation (mobilizing the joints in the spine) is the best method for treating low back pain.

A study showed that exercise was proven to be more effective than manipulation (only 10% required manipulation).

Myth 2: Ultrasound and electrical stimulation are proven to aid recovery from low back pain.

These types of passive treatments provide no long-term benefit, do not treat the underlying problem, and do not accelerate healing time.

Myth 3: Low back pain is caused by inflammation.

Inflammation does occur in certain conditions, and may be present when low back pain is acute; however, the majority of low back pain is mechanical and can respond positively to mechanical treatments (eg, stretching, prescribed exercise, aerobic exercise, stabilization, posture education).

Myth 4: Low back pain is caused by arthritis.

While studies show that arthritis is present in over 90% of those between the ages 50-55, only 10% experience arthritis-related pain. Arthritis is associated with aging, but not always associated with pain.

Myth 5: You should rest and avoid or stop activity if you are experiencing low back pain.

It is recommended to exercise and get active and mobile as soon as possible. A physical therapist can help.

You can contact a physical therapist directly for an evaluation.

Additional Resources

Health Center for Low Back Pain


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