Welcome to our blog! We are going to kick off our new addition to the website by running a 5 part series: 5 Myths About Back Pain. For the first part of the series, we are going to debunk the first myth about back pain:
1. If you’re having back pain you should just lie down and rest for a few days.
Bed rest was once recommended as the “go-to” for back pain. While bed rest may be beneficial to allow muscles to relax for a short period of time, prolonged bed rest can actually have adverse outcomes on low back pain, as well as prolong recovery. As long as there is not a significant trauma or significant symptomatology, returning to activity as soon as possible should be the goal. Physical activities may need to be modified immediately after experiencing back pain, but in most cases, should not be stopped completely. A thorough evaluation by a trained professional is sometimes warranted.
One reason that stopping all activity is not advised is because bed rest can cause muscles to become deconditioned. Also, if we think of back pain as the product of actual tissue damage, (i.e. muscle strain), being sedentary does not cause any additional blood flow to the area to help with the inflammation and the healing process. Through modification of activity and movement, we can stimulate additional blood flow and nutrients to the damaged tissue to help repair and heal.
While most people understand that muscles can become deconditioned during prolonged bedrest, other side effects can happen as well. Constipation is also an adverse side effect that can be caused by prolonged bedrest, which can cause discomfort and aggravation. Circulation can also become effected in a negative way when people are on prolonged bedrest.
In conclusion, if you are experiencing low back pain, try to stay as active as possible while still implementing rest. Walking is a great way to stay active and can help to relieve some low back soreness and stiffness, while also not allowing muscles of the low back to become deconditioned. Walking can also help with digestion and circulation. In almost all cases of minor low back pain, walking should be implemented, even in short durations. In reality, there should be a healthy combination of both activity and rest when experiencing low back pain. If you have any questions about any back pain you are experiencing, please make sure to contact a professional.
***No content on this site should be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.***