Understand Your Back Pain: The Dos and Don’ts


Back pain is incredibly common. Upwards of 80% of people will experience back pain in their lifetime. It can be likened to the common cold. You can almost count on getting it from time to time. The difference is what you do during that episode of back pain can change how severe and how often future episodes can be. Through bad recommendations over the last thirty years or so we’ve been taught to baby our back, but that can actually have detrimental effects and delay healing. Similar to the thought that bloodletting was once viewed as a beneficial treatment, we have learned differently since.


DO: MOVE. Walk, swim, bike, etc. This helps to nourish to the back.
DO: Strengthen the back. Planks, bird dogs, squats, etc. This is important for stabilization.
DO: Temporarily avoid the specific movement(s) that increase the pain. This allows injured tissues to heal.
DO: Periodically retest those specific movements. This will demonstrate improvement and ensure you return to your normal functional life.
DO: Remain Positive. It can sound cheesy, but remaining positive and optimistic shortens healing times.


DON’T: Avoid moving all together. Bed rest deprives the back over nutrients, healing factors, and weakens back muscles.
DON’T: Do a bunch of back stretches. The back needs to move, but stretching can make stabilizing muscles and ligaments too loose.
DON’T: Rush to an orthopedic doctor or surgeon. While there is a time and place for that level of care, most back pain can easily be fixed by a chiropractor or PT.
DON’T: Dwell on the pain or think it will never get better. This can cause the brain to exaggerate the pain, causing you to avoid moving and prolonging the healing time.

For more help, set up an appointment: ActivehealthKC.com 913-341-1200
3700 W. 83rd. St. Ste. 217, Prairie Village, KS