There are many myths and misconceptions about why we pick up injuries or suffer from a certain pain. Here is my list of the top 9 physio myths:
Discs don’t slip. They are not structures that can slip in and out – physically this cannot happen. They cannot be popped back in either.
Nerves don’t become trapped. They can be pressed upon that can lead to pins and needles and numbness and they can be become inflamed that leads to severe pain, typically down the leg or arm.
Shoulders don’t freeze. This is an out dated term as the shoulder joint capsule actually shrinks due to an inflammatory process. The inflammation causes the pain and the shoulder joint capsule shrinking leads to the severe loss of movement.
Stretching prior to exercise. There is no research that suggests that stretching prior to exercise prevents an injury. However you should warm up before exercise but this doesn’t need to include stretches. You can simple get warm and get your heart rate up by jogging for 5 minutes.
A joint manip to click the bone back into place. Bones simply don’t go out of place unless you break them or dislocate a joint. All joints are surrounded by a mass of strong ligaments and joint capsules that prevent them going out of place. The cracking sound you hear when the chiropractor manipulates the joint is just joint cavitation noise. The bone in not moving back in place.
Wearing a neck brace for whiplash. As long as there is no spinal fracture immobilising the neck can actually make the whole thing worse. You need to keep the neck moving and do specific strength exercises to wake up the muscles that have been injured and inhibited from the whiplash injury.
Bed rest for back pain. Ok, if you have raging sciatic pain – I get it, it is not very nice and movement will be painful. Take your meds and stay somewhat active and use rest and positions of ease. But prolonged bed rest is probably the worst thing you can do for back pain. The back joints need movement even when you have back pain.
My shoulder popped out. This probably didn’t happen. Your shoulder can dislocate but that is extremely painful and the arm bone comes out of the socket and ends up in the armpit. It needs to be relocated in A and E. Most of the time when you think your shoulder pops out it is just a tendon rubbing over a bone that makes a clicking sound.
Tendonitis. This is another out dated term. It is now thought that what was once described as tendonitis is a degenerative condition through overuse and collagen breakdown leading to weakness and pain. A reduction of training load and strengthening exercises resolve the problem.