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.
Here are 5 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.
MoveForwardPT.com, the official consumer website of the American Physical Therapy Association, ©