1. Back Pain is not always due to Injury: TRUE

Back pain can occur to due to trauma or injury, but also can occur from wear and tear arthritis, obesity, and lack of exercise

  1. Bed Rest is good for a bad back: FALSE

Bed rest after the first 3-4 days of an episode will actually perpetuate back pain, as active movement and exercise has been shown to help

  1. Sitting for a long time will not increase my back pain: FALSE

Prolonged sitting, especially if accompanied by forward seating posture,  has been called the ‘new smoking’, as it promotes poor mechanics and pressure in the spine and can lead to increased back pain

  1. What you eat has a significant effect on how your back feels; TRUE

Eating an anti-inflammatory diet, like the Mediterranean Diet will help decrease joint inflammation. Eat more whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and fish.

  1. Genetics plays no role in back pain: FALSE

Research has shown that genetics do play a role, however if you maintain a healthy lifestyle of exercising and eating right, you can possibly avoid your genetic disposition to back pain

  1. If I have back pain, I should not exercise : FALSE

Research has clearly shown that exercise id medicine for back pain. Walking, swimming, cycling on a recumbent bike, and core exercises are all very helpful in reducing and avoiding back pain.

  1. Smoking doesn’t contribute to back pain : FALSE

Smoking has many deleterious effects and one of them is back pain. Smoking decreases circulation to the spine.

  1. Posture has a significant effect on back pain: TRUE

Forward head and body carriage cause mechanical stress on the joints and muscles of the neck and back and can lead to pain. Slouching while you sit can do so as well.  If you sleep on your stomach, the excessive positional stress will contribute to both neck and back pain.

  1. Back Pain is just part of the aging process: FALSE

Arthritis from aging can be a contributing factor, but many people with arthritis do not have neck or back pain.

  1. Mental Health, Anxiety, and Depression have no effect on back pain: FALSE

Research has shown that this is a significant factor in perpetuating chronic back pain. If you have these it must be taken care to help alleviate back pain. This can be accomplished by seeing a psychologist, or by participating in Yoga, Mindful Based Stress Reduction and Meditation

  1. Complementary Medicine like Chiropractic care makes back pain worse: FALSE

Research has now shown that chiropractic care is in fact beneficial and safe for neck and back pain when performed by a highly skilled and qualified chiropractor

  1. Herniated discs do not heal without surgery : FALSE

Herniated disc improve without surgery 90% of the time. Physical therapists who perform a specialized procedure called McKenzie Therapy can help heal disc herniations through specific directional force. Chiropractors who utilize the Cox table ( spinal decompression tables) can also help decompress disc herniations without surgery.

David J. BenEliyahu DC FICC

Administrative Director, Back and Neck Pain Center at Mather Hospital