More Myths — Back pain
Here are 5 common beliefs ( Myths) that have been challenged:
1. Bending is dangerous
2. Discs slip
3. Nerves are trapped
4. Pain comes from facet joints, discs etc
5. Low back pain is in isolation to everything else in your life.
1. Bending is normal. Sure it can hurt when the back is being protected, and when we have back pain the muscles are guarding and this can reduce the amount of movement. In the acute phase, most positions and movements hurt, this is protection and it is meant to be unpleasant in order to motivate action. Moving little and often, changing position and breathing all help to keep blood and oxygen flowing.
2. Discs are not actually discs and they do not go anywhere. Yes they can be injured like any other tissue. They can bulge and affect the local environment, and they can herniate, triggering a healing response — both can hurt because protection is initiated. The fact that there are so many nerve endings around the area mean that sensitivity can arise in a vigorous manner. Again, this is a normal if highly unpleasant experience. Remember that a 1/3 of the population have such changes in their spine but without any pain. The body as a whole must rate the situation as threatening for it to hurt.
3. Nerves do not get trapped. Local swelling and inflammation can sensitise the nerves meaning that they send danger signals. There is not too much room either, so if there is swelling or a bulge, this can affect blood flow to the nerve itself and cause sensitivity to movement and local chemical changes. Again, this can happen without pain as well, so it is down to the individual’s body systems and how they respond. Understanding, gradually moving and breathing can all help ease you through this phase.
4. Pain is whole person and involves many body systems that are protecting you. There is no pain system, pain center or pain signalling. Pain is part of a protective response when the body thinks it is under threat. We feel pain in the body but the underlying mechanisms are upstream of the body part that hurts. To successfully overcome pain we must go upstream as well as addressing the health of the body tissues.
5. Low back pain is embedded within your lifestyle. It is not separate to how you live — e.g. lack of exercise, postures, work, stress, emotional state, previous experiences, understanding of back pain, gender, genetics, just to name a few. This maybe more complex, but this provides many avenues for overcoming pain.
We do share this with all our Students both in Reflexology and Massage at School of Holistic Massage and Reflexology