Mythbusters II

By Ben Hutton

Last year I was annoyed. The annoyance reached a tipping point where I had heard so much guff and nonsense that I wrote an article on physio myths and where they might be better stuck. Due to being re-annoyed this week, here is the myth-busting sequel:

1. Discs do not ‘slip’:

Exactly where would they ‘slip’ to? Down your leg? Into your buttock? Up a slippery dip into your lower intestine? Foolish therapists (including some physios) have used this as a way of describing disc issues – and it’s dumb. Partially because it sounds scary and partially because it is anatomically impossible. The next therapist who says ‘slipped disc’ deserves to be handcuffed to a stereo playing The Bangles ‘Walk like an Egyptian’ on repeat – until they repent. 

2. Foam rolling your ITB doesn’t do anything.

Really. The ITB is made out of super tough stuff that would require a concrete roller to do anything. So don’t roll it. It’ll just make your leg sore. Remember pain does not always = gain. Sometimes it’s just pain = pain. 

Sometimes it’s just pain = pain.

3. Cracking your back/neck/knuckles is not realigning you.

It is not putting you ‘back in’. It’s not rotating a vertebrae and it certainly isn’t correcting a scoliosis or a so-called ‘leg length discrepancy’. A crack is a pocket of gas that expands/contracts in a joint and when it ‘pops’ can make you move a bit better and reduce pain. So it can be helpful, but not if it’s accompanied by an oversized bucket of hogwash. And no, cracking doesn’t cause arthritis (tell your mum). 

4. Stretching before sport does not reduce the risk of injury.

Doing that hamstring stretch you were taught in Yr 9 P.E. before you try and chase that young winger down the sideline will not stop you tearing your hamstring (this may or may not be autobiographical). Warm up with gentle cardio, do some plyometrics, do some drills. Just don’t bother doing too much stretching. 

Hope this helps – Brightside believes in straight talking and getting our patients better so debunking dodgy directions is part of our job description.
For help with pain. Or for a ‘crackingly good’ session of physio, call us or book online!