How many times have you heard someone claim, “my back pain could be easily fixed, I just need a friend to crack my back” rather than seeking the services of a chiropractor? A common mistake back patients make is associating the cracking noise in their back, after they compress it, with pain relief. This sound is simply gas being released from the joint – it makes no real difference to pain levels.
There are countless injury myths that have circulated for generations that could cause harm to your patients, rather than comfort. These myths may also hinder any recovery process your clinic has prescribed.
Myth 1: I can crack my back myself to resolve my back pain
Chiropractor, Dr. Garey Awenus, states that it is impossible to self-treat chronic back pain: “I am a chiropractor and I couldn’t possibly apply the practices to myself,” he explained. A chiropractor’s clinical treatment is done in stages and requires careful considerate attention. It’s certainly not something that can be done in one magical squeeze of the back.
Myth 2: Rest is best!
Patients that think rest is the best form of recovery would be disappointed to know that this is incorrect. According to Dr. Awenus: “Rest helps in the initial stage, but correction requires regaining proper spinal biomechanics. If the correct mechanics are not obtained, it predisposes to premature accelerated degenerative changes to joints and discs.”
Myth 3: Time heals
A patient that has been involved in a car accident in the past can still be prone to the reoccurrence of old injuries, which can be triggered and return at any point. “After a car accident, there is damage to the supporting elements that is not fully reversible,” Dr. Awenus said.
It is essential that their pain is attended to by a clinician rather than ignored, as the long-term issues can be severe. Injuries and pains from a car crash that happened three years ago “absolutely and usually” do come back unless treated, he further went on to say.
Myth 4: I can push through the pain
Some individuals may choose to “push through the pain” by turning to exercise, in hopes of relieving discomfort caused by an injury. “Exercising while you’re already in pain may increase the severity of the injury. It may disturb the healing process and recovery period time may get delayed,” a physiotherapist said.
Myth 5: A better mattress will do the trick
Another persistent injury myth is that “sleeping on a comfortable mattress will help heal back or neck pain”. Although it is true that some mattresses can offer a certain amount of comfort to minor backaches, it is not likely to have a significant impact during the healing process. A physiotherapist goes on to explain, “It can depend upon what kind of pain is existing and what is the cause of pain”.
Clinicians can help
Injury myths will be around forever, you can’t get rid of them nor guard your patients against them – but clinicians can be the source of a more qualified viewpoint which can begin the process of recovery from pain. It is essential that patients continue to seek the services of clinics and ignore the temptations of common injury recovery myths.
Providing patients with the most accurate diagnosis and recovery plan; supported by state-of-the-art software and best practice procedures, should be considered the most effective myth-busting method.