Back Pain Myths

Back Pain Myths

Many people believe certain back pain myths that aren’t true and make resolving their discomfort more difficult. Learning the true facts about your back pain can help you to find the most effective method of treating it, so you can get back to the activities you enjoy.

The truth is, back pain can originate from a variety of causes and may be experienced differently in each individual. Back pain can sometimes signal more serious health conditions and should be carefully monitored. Fortunately, a variety of treatments are available to reduce pain and improve mobility.

Common Myths About Back Pain

Myth 1: Physical activity is the cause

While it is true that muscle strains, poor lifting technique and repetitive motions can cause back pain, physical activity is not the only factor that can play a part in your discomfort. In some cases, genetic, structural problems contribute to painful symptoms. Aging and degenerative conditions like osteoarthritis can cause back pain, as well.

Myth 2: Poor posture is the cause

Poor posture can be a cause of back pain, but is not the only cause that can occur. Bad posture puts a strain on muscles, tendons and ligaments in the back. However, other problems may also play a part.

Myth 3: Pain is always a sign of tissue damage or disease

Pain is usually caused by inflammation. It may or may not signal tissue damage. Nor does pain necessarily mean a disease is present. Pain can also result from compression of nerves.

Myth 4: Opioid pain medications are completely safe and effective for long-term use.

Opioids are very effective drugs for pain. However, they are known to be highly addictive and are not the best solution for long-term use for back pain.

Myth 5: Everyone experiences and handles pain the same way

Some people have a high threshold for physical discomfort. For these individuals, back discomfort may be a minor, annoying problem. Other people may have a low threshold for pain and can be debilitated by a back problem. The wide range of back pain treatments, from conservative methods to more invasive surgeries, are generally able to provide relief for everyone.

Myth 6: There’s no way to control or manage the pain

New drugs to relieve pain are being developed on an ongoing basis. Similarly, new surgical techniques are being developed to correct spinal problems and relieve pain. New technologies are also offering a number of new methods for relieving pain. Traditional, alternative methods, such as massage and acupuncture, can also be used to manage back pain.

What are the Symptoms of Back Pain?

Muscle aches

Back pain may be a result of muscle strain, which can make movement painful and stiff.


Sudden muscle spasms can occur randomly to make movement difficult.

Shooting or stabbing pains

Stabbing or shooting pain can mean compression of nerves that connect to the spinal column.

Lack of flexibility or range of motion

Muscle strains, herniated discs or nerve compression can cause back stiffness and limited range of motion of the spine.


Back pain can demonstrate as tenderness of the muscles in the back, which may cause a reluctance to be touched.


Spinal problems can lead to weakness, not only in the back, but also in the extremities. This generally occurs when nerves are compressed and cannot function normally.


Numbness and tingling are common problems that result from a back problem. Nerves that connect to the spinal column can become compressed, which often causes these symptoms.

Difficulty standing upright

Sprains or disorders of the spinal column can make it difficult to stand up straight. Staying in a bent position may help to relieve back discomfort.

What are some treatment options?

Heat/Ice Therapy

One of the simplest, yet most effective, therapies for back pain is the application of ice packs and hot packs to the back. Generally, you should apply cold packs first to reduce inflammation and swelling, followed by heat packs, which help to improve blood flow and healing of tissues.

Over-the-Counter Medications

Non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen reduce inflammation that contributes to pain.

Physical Therapy

A physical therapist can offer specific exercises that focus on the muscles of the back and torso to strengthen muscles and relieve pain.


Chiropractors used a variety of techniques, including manual adjustment, trigger point therapy, massage, electrical stimulation and decompression to relieve back pain.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cause of back pain

Back pain can result from many different factors, including injury, overuse, repetitive motion, degenerative conditions and other physical issues.

What is the emotion behind back pain

People may experience a number of emotions in regard to back pain. Anxiety and depression are common problems associated with ongoing back pain. Chronic pain can also cause irritability.

How to avoid back pain

The best way to avoid back problems is to maintain a healthy weight and get regular exercise to keep core muscles strong. Learn proper lifting technique and use it whenever carrying heavy items. Watch your posture when standing and sitting for long periods. Eat a healthy diet that provides good nutrition for cell replacement and immune system function.

What causes back pain in females

Pre-menstrual syndrome and menstrual cramps can cause back pain. The physical changes of pregnancy can lead to back pain. Poor lifting techniques can cause back pain. Degenerative conditions of the discs and vertebrae of the spine can lead to pain.

Does stress cause back pain

Yes, stress can be a factor in back pain. The constant tensing of muscles and compression of nerves involved in stress reactions can lead to chronic pain.

Is back pain part of depression

Depression can cause a wide variety of physical complaints, including headaches, joint pain, back pain and gastrointestinal problems. But the depression connection can go the other way, as well, when dealing with chronic back pain begins to affect your ability to enjoy ordinary activities, and you become depressed.

How does back pain affect your life

Chronic back pain can prevent you from engaging in your normal work tasks and recreational activities. This can lead to stress, financial problems and depression.

Is back pain related to mental health

Yes, dealing with chronic back pain can cause depression and anxiety.

What are the 3 main causes of back pain

Injury, overuse and degenerative conditions are the 3 main causes of back pain.

What foods are good for back pain

An anti-inflammatory diet rich in leafy green vegetables, richly colored fruits and olive oil can help to reduce pain. You should also ensure you have sufficient vitamin D and calcium for bone health.

What are the treatments for back pain

Over-the-counter pain relievers can often be enough to manage the pain. Other medications, such as muscle relaxants and prescribed pain relievers, can also be helpful. Physical therapy helps to strengthen muscles, improve range of motion and reduce discomfort. Chiropractic care, manual adjustment and spinal decompression therapy can be used to manage back pain. A number of surgical procedures are also used to relieve back pain.

Can gas cause back pain

Yes, trapped gas in your gastrointestinal tract can radiate into the upper back, causing discomfort.

What are three red flags of back pain

Back pain can be a sign of a more serious problem, such as when the pain is constant or intensifies, when weakness of the extremities occurs or when you lose bladder or bowel control.

Where does back pain usually start

Back pain usually starts in the lower back, where the natural curvature of the spine can become easily damaged and where many of the nerve roots connect to the spine.

Why does my back hurt everyday

Daily back pain could be a result of a bad mattress that is causing you to sleep in awkward positions. Or you may not be getting sufficient exercise to keep back muscles and core muscles strong.

What exercises help back pain

Stretching can be one of the most beneficial exercises for back pain. Yoga, tai chi and Pilates workouts can all help to gently strengthen back muscles and improve core muscles.

Does walking prevent back pain

Walking is one of the simplest and most effective exercises for the entire body and can help to strengthen your back. The walking movement utilizes leg muscles, back muscles and stomach muscles, all of which to help stimulate blood circulation and improve muscles strength.

How can I make my spine stronger

The “bridge” position involves lying on your back on a mat on the floor with knees bent. You then lift your pelvis and hold for several counts. Repeat several times for best effect. Another exercise has the person squeeze their shoulder blades together, holding for several seconds, for several repetitions. Exercises that strengthen your “core,” the midsection of your torso, also help to strengthen your back

Worst things for lower back pain

Poor lifting technique is the worst thing you can do if you have back pain. Repetitive movements that involve turning or twisting can also worsen back pain. Sports that involve impacts between players can also cause your back problem to worsen.

Worst positions for lower back pain

Sitting in a slumped position in a chair is one of the worst positions for back pain. You should sit with legs at a 90-degree angle and with lumbar support for best comfort. Sitting with legs crossed is also a bad position because it can put pressure on muscles in the lower back and hips. Standing on your feet in one place for a long period also puts significant pressure on the lower back.

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