And while we’re at it:
5 1/2. My spine is damaged so there’s nothing I can do
See the images above and then tell me your spine is still damaged. These findings are NORMAL, and gradually increase over time. I like to describe these as ‘time-related changes’. Much like wrinkles on your skin or grey hairs. Many people start to develop grey hairs or wrinkles – some much earlier than others. this does not mean that your hair is ‘painful’ or ‘damaged’. The wrinkles in your skin will not stop you from playing soccer ever again. They are just normal changes that occur in your body as time goes on.
(Obviously sometimes people do suffer injuries that are serious, and CT/MRI is very important when it is indicated. The point is that just because you are in pain doesn’t mean a scan will help, or the incidental findings on your scan are that important to your injury or recovery)
6. Something is ‘out’ and that’s why my back hurts
While the description of something going ‘out’ in your spine is an easy way to describe and understand a complex problem, it is actually physiologically incorrect. As you saw in the image earlier, there are significant ligament and soft tissue structures stabilising your spine. Your joints simply cannot go ‘out’ and ‘back in’. Not without dislocating them (which would hurt a lot more).
” but what about when I have my back cracked?” I hear you ask. “doesn’t that mean it is going back in?”
Well, no. Think about another part of your body – your knuckles. Chances are you, or someone you know, cracks their knuckles regularly. Were their knuckles ‘out’? Or subluxed/dislocated before you cracked them? Are they ‘back in’ now?
No. Cavitation (the technical term for cracking) occurs when you stretch two synovial joint surfaces apart quickly. It affects the surface tension between the two joint surfaces, and the pressure and volume within the joint. This results in a ‘crack’.
(And before any of you get too picky, yes sometimes something in your body could possibly be dislocated/subluxed, and will crack when it is enlocated. But that’s not what we’re talking about with back pain though).
7. Bending your back is bad for you
Your body is a fantastic machine capable of amazing feats of strength, endurance and skill. Do you really think that you would be able to bend your back if you weren’t supposed to? There are certainly more or less ideal ways to move depending on the task you are completing and the load you are under, but to think that you should never bend (as some people seem to) is ludicrous. I have certainly treated many people who have been told that bending is bad for them, and literally never bend at their spine EVER! This fear of movement is usually contributing to their ongoing problems, and they need to relearn how to move ‘normally’.
Try telling these guys that bending their spine is bad for them.