Debunking some common myths about the age-long issue of back pain
Fact: Did you know that 8 out of 10 people experience back pain at some point in their lives
Myth #1: If I have back pain, I should rest in bed.
During the acute stages of back pain it is important to avoid any aggravating factors, however, that does not mean you should rest in bed. Try to be as active as possible within your pain limits. There is a growing body of evidence showing prolonged bed rest can actually be counterproductive and increase the duration and intensity of pain as well as debility.
Myth # 2: More back pain does not mean more damage
Although pain can often be a very important indicator to protect our body from harm, the amount of pain we feel greatly varies from person to person. The same pathology can have two very different pain responses between two individuals. The way we experience pain is influenced by many factors such as your previous pain experiences, mood, fears, fitness, stress levels and coping style.
Myth # 3: If I sit up straight at work or have a standing desk that will help to keep my back healthy and pain-free
Contrary to popular belief there is no perfect posture we should all aim to achieve that will keep our spine pain free. That does not mean you should slouch for 12 hours a day at your desk. In fact, the key is to vary the positions we place our body and to avoid sustained positions whether it be sitting, standing or lying. I often recommend taking a very short break every 20 -30 minutes at work to break the sustained pattern of loading. Standing desks can also be used to break between sitting and standing postures more easily.
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