The Most Common Myths About Back Pain

Back pain is one of the most common problems that affects 8 out of 10 people in their lifetime. It is not surprising that various myths and misconceptions are developed about the treatments and causes of back pain. The back pain experience can be complex, and some coping strategies prolong recovery time. There are some common back pain myths and misconceptions, which are as follows: 

15 Myths about back pain

  1. Back Pain can result in paralysis
  2. Severe back pain indicates serious problems
  3. Back pain is caused by an injury
  4. Back pain is not related to genetics
  5. If there is no back problem found, then the pain is psychological
  6. Lower back pain is caused because of the gas
  7. Stress does not affect back pain
  8. Sitting for hours can cause back pain
  9. Lower back pain is a sign of pregnancy
  10. Back pain is not related to any kidney problems
  11. Massage can worsen back pain
  12. Back pain is constant and keeps getting worse
  13. Do not lift heavy things
  14. Bed rest is the best solution
  15. As long as you are active, you will not get back pain

Myth 1: Back Pain can result in paralysis: 

Back Pain

The truth is that the spinal structures are so strong that they have healing capabilities if they are adequately treated. The most common causes of back pain are related to the body tissues and damage to the soft tissues such as the ligaments, nerve roots, or discs. If paralysis has to occur, then the sensitive structure of the spine has to be affected to a greater degree which will cause issues with the sensory or motor signals in the body. 

The occurrence of this happening is rare because the spinal cord is very well protected within the spinal canal by strong bones, muscular tissues, and ligaments. If the spinal cord is affected, the treatment can relieve the tissues and prevent any long-term complications such as paralysis. It is essential to treat back pain properly so that the issues are prevented.

Myth 2: Severe back pain indicates serious problems: 

According to people, they think that the more serious the back pain, the more serious the problem is, but the lower back pain can range from mild to severe. The symptoms are usually minor, treatable, or self-limiting. It is not that the severity of the back pain decides how serious the problem is. The severity of back pain depends on one person to another, and it is also about how intense the pain is and what the symptoms are.

Myth 3: Back pain is caused by an injury: 

The truth is that back pain is the result of repetitive unsupported posture. Back Pain is not a one-time occurrence, and it happens over and over again. You cannot get back pain just by one injury, and it usually develops over time because of repetitive trauma or incidents. The tissue gets torn, which further results in various other issues in the back. One injury can develop pain, but if it is not looked after, it can be elevated.

Myth 4: Back pain is not related to genetics: 

The truth is that, like hair, the color of eyes and looks suggest the relation with genetics, the same way back pains can also be genetic. There are various changes like dehydration of discs, loss of disc height, and growth of osteophytes which can be inherited from the family and can result in back pain conditions. 

Myth 5: If there is no back problem found, then the pain is psychological: 

According to the myths, if there are no physical back problems found, then the issue can be psychological. But there are various back pain issues that are complex in structure and cannot be diagnosed through a simple treatment, though the pain is very much real. 

There are no tests to describe or detect the underlying cause of the same, but there are combinations of medical imaging tests that can show the lower back pain issue. Various symptoms can make the diagnosis even more challenging because the might point to something else, but the pain is very much there, which is why it is recommended to consult a qualified spine specialist to figure out such complex issues.

Myth 6: Lower back pain is caused because of the gas: 

Bloating and gas can cause issues and discomfort in the upper body, but that is not related to back pain. If there is an increase in bloating, it can result in tightness in the chest, which is further accompanied by sharp pain but is not directly related to gas. 

However, back pain may occur because of the gas bubbles that are there within the spine or the cerebrospinal fluid, which protects the spinal cord. The gas that causes back pain is different from intestinal gas, and the symptoms are not related to it. The gas that is caused in the spinal cord may move slightly depending on the posture or the focal areas of pressure which might result in lower or upper back pain.

Myth 7: Stress does not affect back pain:

Stress is an emotion that can cause various issues in the body, including back pain. It is an emotional experience that can cause alterations in the body and elevate lower back pain. Anxiety and depression are two of the most common stress-related conditions which are associated with lower back pain. There are psychological treatments that are followed by treatment for back issues. 

Myth 8: Sitting for hours can cause back pain: 

Sitting for hours

Sitting is a long process at work, but it is an active process that engages the muscles and joints in the pelvis, hips, and spine. There is support in the posture that is adopted while sitting and the stress on the tissues is minimal, which does not cause any pain. There are ways to minimize the stresses like: 

Sitting straight with the shoulder blades down and shoulders rolled back 

Make sure there is a natural curve, and place a small pillow to support the lower back. 

Keeping both the legs hip distance apart with the feet being flat on the floor. 

It is advised to take breaks and walk around or do simple stretches because that helps in avoiding back pain. Just by following these simple steps, you can avoid upper and lower back pain and ensure proper blood flow in the body. Doing these sit-ups while working for longer hours can help in reducing the risk of lower back pain.

Also, check:

Myth 9: Lower back pain is a sign of pregnancy: 

According to people, lower back pain indicates a sign of pregnancy, but it is not true. Though some hormonal changes can cause back pain in the later stages of pregnancy, which is usually the third trimester, hinting pregnancy with back pain is a myth. 

Myth 10: Back pain is not related to any kidney problems: 

Certain kidney issues can cause back pain to occur and are severe enough to visit the emergency room. The two most common issues related to the kidney which can result in back pain are kidney infection and kidney stones. 

The symptoms usually start developing on the left or right side of the lower back, but it also depends on how the kidney is affected and what kind of pain you are facing. Adenocarcinoma is a serious kidney condition that can also cause lower back pain. The condition is cancerous and can spread to other parts of the body, which is why it is essential to get regular checkups done. 

Myth 11: Massage can worsen back pain: 

Massage can worsen back pain

There are therapeutic massages that help in relieving back pain, so it is not true when they say that massage can worsen the pain. Therapeutic massages are given by professionals who are trained and have a license. They know which point to massage and oil and where to press in order to ease the pains and aches in the back. 

Therapeutic massages not only help in relieving back pain but also improves physical and mental relaxation. It is a safe remedy for a back massage and helps in giving relief instantly.

Myth 12: Back pain is constant and keeps getting worse: 

Back pain affects everyone at some point in their life, and for some people, it can be minor and recover in a few months, whereas for some people, it is severe and takes a while to recover. If the back pain is constant, then there is a need to make some lifestyle changes and consult a doctor in order to provide a long-term solution for the issue. 

With time, a recurrence or flare-up is possible, but with proper treatment, the severity of the symptoms tends to reduce or go away. 

Myth 13: Do not lift heavy things: 

It is one of the most common back pain myths, which is not lifting heavy things. Though you shouldn’t be picking up anything too heavy for you because that is going to put pressure on your body, lifting general heavy things that your body can take doesn’t result in back pains. 

Myth 14: Bed rest is the best solution: 

According to people, one of the other back pain myths is bed rest. Yes, resting up can help with the injuries but constantly lying down on the bed is also not good for the back. There needs to be some movement in the body, or else the back becomes stiffer.

Myth 15: As long as you are active, you will not get back pain

Regretfully, this is untrue. There is no assurance that exercising will prevent back pain or injury. Even elite athletes occasionally have back pain. It is still crucial to maintain your physical fitness, though, because your level of activity will determine the severity and frequency of your backaches. Should pain flare up again and again, you should visit a physician. In general, it is advised to maintain a regular exercise regimen that incorporates stretching and strengthening exercises for every muscle group in order to effectively prevent back discomfort.

Myth 16: Back pain means I can’t do my favourite activity anymore

False. Thankfully, lower back pain is rarely chronic. Thus, it will just take time for you to overcome it. Take the initiative in this regard! Your recovery will accelerate the sooner you get back on your feet. If you play a lot of sports, it's a good idea to take a break until your back discomfort goes away. However, with your doctor's approval, you can resume lighter, less demanding activities.

Myth: 17 Spines are fragile

Despite the appearance of being easily broken, the muscles, tendons, and ligaments that surround the spine form a flexible and powerful structure that supports each person's unique back. Although some people are born with a healthy spine, all types of spines need to be properly trained and maintained. This could involve regular muscular strengthening, aerobic workouts, and daily stretching.

Having said that, your spine is not unbreakable. Consistently engaging in aggressive activities, such as poor posture and inappropriate exercise form, might eventually cause damage to your spine. Other lifestyle decisions, including smoking, getting too little sleep, and eating a bad diet, may also negatively impact your spine.


Myths can cause a lot of confusion about the issue, leading to confusion amongst people in deciding what action to take to get over the pain. People tend to avoid doctor visits to avoid medical issues, which is why it is recommended to see a doctor and listen to the doctor to understand what is right for the body.


1. What is the most common form of back pain?

An injury such as a pulled muscle (strain) is frequently the source of back discomfort. Medical diseases such as ankylosing spondylitis, sciatica, or a slipped disc occasionally cause back discomfort. However, back pain rarely indicates a more serious issue like cancer, an infection, or a fractured bone.

2. What is the cause of back pain?

Numerous factors can contribute to strains and sprains, such as incorrect lifting technique, bad posture, and infrequent exercise. Strains and sprains of the back may become more likely in overweight individuals. Severe injuries like a ruptured disk or spinal fracture can also result in back discomfort.

3. How to stop backache in bed?

If you sleep on your side, place a cushion between your knees and pull them up slightly toward your chest. Bending your knees and placing a pillow between your legs can align your spine, pelvis, and hips, relieving pressure on your spine. If you'd rather, use a full-length body pillow.

4. Is walking good for back pain?

According to a preliminary study, 30 to 60 minutes of walking or brisk walking (also known as Nordic walking) on a regular basis (every two days, for example) can help reduce back discomfort.

5. Can yoga reduce back pain?

Yoga is a moderate kind of exercise that is great for keeping your back flexible and strong. As the most common cause of pain and disability among older persons, low back pain, it's also one of the better instruments for the job.

Back pain


Zandu Ayurvedic Team

Zandu Ayurvedic Team has a panel of over 10 BAMS (Ayurvedacharya), boasting a collective experience of over 50 years. With a deep-rooted understanding of Ayurveda, they are committed to sharing their expertise & knowledge through our blogs.
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