Back Pain Myths: Part 1 – Your Back Is Inherently Weak And Fragile


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Myth 1: Your back is weak and fragile

Wrong! You back is stronger than you think. Most people will experience back pain during their lifetime. It can be disabling and worrying but it is very common and rarely dangerous (<1%). The spine is a strong, stable structure and not easily damaged so in most instances it is a simple sprain or strain. In these cases – 98%, according to research – recover reasonably quickly, and many do so without treatment. Some people experience repeat episodes, which can be distressing, but again these are rarely dangerous.

"Some quacks health professionals tell patients that they need to put their joints back in, move bones into correct alignment or push “slipped” discs back into place. This is nonsense."

The evidence is clear that discs and bones in your spine do not really “go out of place” or “slip”. We don’t like the term “slipped disc” for two reasons. First, it’s simply inaccurate. Second, it communicates that your back is so vulnerable that things can easily slip or pop out of place. This just doesn’t happen. Your discs are firmly attached between the back bones (called vertebrae) and the cannot “slip” out of place.

Some quacks health professionals tell patients that they need to put their joints back in, move bones into correct alignment and/or push “slipped” discs back into place. This is nonsense. Cracking your back can feel nice and it can temporarily reduce your pain, but it does not fix you. It is due to changes in the nervous system, not to adjusting the positions of discs and joints. It does not get to the root of the problem! What it can do is make you feel fragile, vulnerable and dependent on the “expert”. This of course is good for their business, but it’s no good for you!

Remember that your back is a strong stable structure capable of lots of movement. If a person experiences a severe episode of low back pain lifting, nothing has fallen out of place- though it might feel like it!


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