Ignoring Back Pain

Back Pain – Mistakes to Avoid

Back pain can go from a dull annoying ache to constant intense pain within a short period of time.  If you are suffering from back pain here are some mistakes to avoid.

  • Ignoring your pain- Don’t make the mistake of ignoring your back pain.  Often your back can get better within a few weeks- if properly treated by your physician or spine specialist.  Ignoring the back pain can lead to more damage and increased immobility.  With a diagnosis- a plan of care can be devised for a quicker recovery.


  • Relying on your general physician too long.  Spine medicine is a specialized branch of medicine.  Your general physician usually doesn’t have the in depth training in spine medicine and doesn’t have the expertise to make a correct plan of care to correct the problem. If your back pain becomes severe and lasts longer than a few weeks you need to get a referral from your physician to a Chiropractor or physiatrist (spine specialist).


  • Choosing surgery too soon- Many look at back surgery as a quick cure.  Yet, with surgery comes the risk of infection, possibly a long healing period, and it is expensive.  Surgery is often helpful to repair a disk pressing on a nerve.  Usually though most back problems can be relieved through non-surgical methods.


  • Postponing back surgery for too long- For certain back problems patients do better if they have surgery sooner, than later.  When there is weakness, tingling, numbness in your arms or legs it is often due to a nerve root being pinched.  Surgery will relieve the pressure off the nerve root which will reduce the risk of further nerve damage.


  • Becoming inactive- One or two days of rest due to the pain if recommended by your physician is an excellent idea for your recovery.  Inactivity beyond the two days can have an opposite affect and can increase the problem.  Your spine needs to remain flexible and strong through the use of abdominal strength exercises.  These exercises help to minimize the chances of future pain or another injury.


  • Twisting your body to move, instead of using your feet to pivot your whole body.  Twisting the back can cause increased injury and strain to your back.  This is one of the most common causes of back pain.   Pivoting using your feet will move your body without adding stress to your spine.


One way to avoid these mistakes is through education.  Going to your physician at the start of pain, discussing the options available, reading material to learn about what causes back pain, and devising a plan for recovery will get you onto the road to recovery.  Refusing to go to see your physician is the biggest mistake of all, you deserve to feel better, so don’t delay your back care.

Barbara Lucore

I have been a nurse for 15+ years and as a nurse I understand how to prevent back strain and pain. The correct ways to lift objects, the causes of back pain, treatments available, the exercises to reduce or prevent back pain and the proper ways to move without strain or injury to your back.