Myth 4: Medications are the best way to manage lower back pain
There are agreed upon standards when prescribing medications, especially in the acute phase following an injury. We use medications initially for pain, inflammation and relaxing the muscles to get patients past that acute stage. As we get into the sub-acute or chronic stage however, we have to be mindful of what we’re prescribing and for how long.
Medicines like Vicodin and Percocet are very easy to prescribe, but with prolonged use it can become a challenge to wean patients off these medicines. Together, doctors and patients should strive to utilize fewer medications over time for back pain.
Watch a video of Dr. Raub discussing this back pain myth on the VSO website by visiting this link:
10 Myths of Back Injury: Myth 3 - If I see a Spine Specialist I will likely end up with an operation
Myth 3: If I see a Spine Specialist I will most likely end up with an operation
Many people have a belief that if they see a spine specialist, they will end up having back surgery. The truth is that most spine specialists do not want to do surgery unless they’ve exhausted every other option treatment-wise.
For the vast majority of patients with back pain, surgery is always elective. If they don’t want it, they don’t have it have it. We can provide alternative treatment options and try making some modifications in their activities.
Watch a video of Dr. Raub discussing this common back pain myth here:
Myth 2: Where it hurts is where the pain comes from
Many patients point to a spot on their back and say “it hurts right here”. But where it hurts isn’t always where the pain is coming from.
The most common spot patients point to is their buttocks area. It’s actually very rare that the problem is coming from that area. It’s usually coming from the lumbar spine, but the patient is getting referred pain to the buttocks area.
We want patients to continue pointing out where it hurts, but we also want them to be aware that where it hurts isn’t always where the pain is coming from.
Watch a video of Dr. Raub discussing this common back pain myth on the VSO website:
There are 10 common myths surrounding back pain. Here is the first:
Myth 1: Disc degeneration is a disease
Many people believe disc degeneration is a disease in the sense that there is a pathological problem or deficiency with the discs in their back. Disc degeneration is actually part of our aging process and can not be reversed.
It’s important to recognize that disc degeneration doesn’t always equal pain. Just because our discs degenerate and lose some of their normal characteristics as we age doesn’t necessarily mean they will become painful. We can treat disc issues that look abnormal on an MRI, yet these efforts may not always yield therapeutic results.