Back Pain Myth Busters

November 16, 2018

Low back pain is a common ailment that about 80% of adults experience at some point in their lives.

This pain may happen again over time if not rectified and may also progress to chronic low back pain, which lasts for more than 3 months.

Today, we are busting myths and reinforcing what the latest evidence says is best for your back.

Myth #1: Moving will make my back pain worse

FACT: People fear twisting and bending but it is essential to keep moving. Gradually increase how much you are doing and stay on the go.

Myth #2: I should avoid exercise especially weight training

FACT: Back pain shouldn’t stop you from enjoying exercise or regular activities. In fact, studies have found that continuing with these can help you get better sooner - including using weights where appropriate.

Myth #3: A scan will show me exactly what is wrong

FACT: Sometimes it will but more often it won’t. Also, even people without back pain have changes in their spine, so scans can cause fear that influences behaviour, making the problem worse.

Myth #4: Pain equals damage

This was the established view but more recent research has changed our thinking. Modern physio takes an holistic approach that helps people understand why they are in pain.

Back Pain Treatment at PhysioActive

At PhysioActive, we will undertake a full assessment of your back and pain. This will involve questioning to allow us to fully understand your pain in relation to your life, work and leisure activities. We will give you an explanation for your pain in a way that you will fully understand it.

Back pain can be acute or chronic, and these two types of pain are managed differently. It is important that you know which type of pain you have and why. We can then give you guidance on what you specifically need to do to manage your back pain. This will include exercises and may also include treatments such as spinal mobilisations, electrotherapy, massage and pain management strategies.

The most important thing is to do the right type of exercises/movements for your particular problem. The aim of exercise is to maintain, restore or optimise the normal range of movement in your spine. Exercise is the most important therapy!

For the past 15 years, I suffered intense low back pain. Being averse to fancy painkillers, I always resorted to simple home remedies such as applying and massaging my back with different types of oils and ointments. While that provided some temporary relief, the pain did not vanish. Rather, it got more intense turning much needed restful nights into restless painful torturous moments. Soon, sleep deprivation and the ensuing pain began to interfere and affect my professional and social life.

With a firm resolve to tackle this escalating pain, I started researching alternate remedies. Through an acquaintance, I got know of PhysioActive and immediately contacted them. My physio's counseling carefully explored my pain history and she customised an appropriate therapy to treat my condition.

Today, I no longer have the kind of excruciating lower back pain, which I suffered in the past. Every morning I do 4-5 different types of exercises prescribed by her, which takes 4-5 minutes to complete. Thanks to my physio, I can now sleep peacefully on my back and sides without any pain. So, low back pain can be treated with physiotherapy. Do not silently live with it. Instead, seek help and if in Singapore, do give PhysioActive a call. They are the best painkillers!

- Leena Palekar, Patient at PhysioActive


The myth buster resources were developed by a working group of CSP members comprising representatives of the Musculoskeletal Association of Chartered Physiotherapists, the Physiotherapy Pain Association, the consultants’ group and physios working in the NHS and the private sector.

This article is also written in collaboration with Gail Craig.

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