Back Pain Myths vs. Facts

There’s a lot of misinformation about back pain. Below we debunk 9 common back pain myths and reveal the truth.

9 Common Back Pain Myths Debunked!

  1. Myth: Bed rest is good for treating back pain.
    Fact: Current scientific evidence shows that this will only make things worse. Being as active as you can be is better for your recovery. Try to do as many of your regular activities as you can.
  2. Myth: If I’m not careful, I will cause more damage.
    Fact: It is unlikely that you will cause additional damage. Avoiding certain activities will primarily teach you to avoid certain activities. It doesn’t help your recovery and it could ultimately have a negative effect.
  3. Myth: There is nothing I can do for my back pain.
    Fact: There are a lot of ways to improve back pain. Some of them are simple and can be done from home. Others require a chiropractor or a therapist. Regardless, there are plenty of options. You should never feel like nothing can be done.
  4. Myth: An x-ray/MRI will reveal the cause of my back pain.
    Fact: In most cases of back pain, imaging will either appear normal or have common findings associated with aging. Imaging rarely shows what is causing your pain (disc herniations are an exception to the rule). Disc bulges and other findings are found very commonly in people without pain.
  5. Myth: I have a disc herniation/slipped disc. I’ll always have back pain.
    Fact: Most cases of disc problems can be managed and will heal without surgery. Spinal discs heal just like a cut on your skin heals.
  6. Myth: Nothing has helped me.  It must be all in my head.
    Fact: This one is partially true. Yes, pain is something that your brain experiences, but back pain is very real. Just because you haven’t found the cause, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a way to feel better.
  7. Myth: I’ve had pain for years.  I’m going to need surgery.
    Fact: Most people respond very well to conservative treatment. Unfortunately, many people will go through surgery without even trying even common non-surgery options. There is a lot of risk associated with surgery for most causes of back pain. It should always be a last resort.
  8. Myth: Because of my back pain, I shouldn’t lift heavy things.
    Fact: You shouldn’t lift improperly. Your back is incredibly strong if you keep it in a neutral position. Plenty of people with back pain are able to lift heavy things with the correct technique.
  9. Myth: I have back pain because I’m overweight.  I’ll never get rid of it unless I lose weight.
    Fact: Thin and normal weight people get back pain, too. Extra weight will put a strain on your back, but it’s more likely that the root cause of your pain is something else.


  1. ain is something else.

Office Hours

Mon – 8:30-6:00
Tues – 8:30-12:30
Wed – 8:30-6:00
Thur- closed
Fri – 8:30-6:00
Sat – closed
Sun – closed


10564 Fifth Ave NE
Suite 202
Seattle, WA 98125
Fax: 206.523.5312