There are downsides to just letting myths live on. Spending time and money on treatment that does not work often means that people miss out on the things that would improve their health.
5 myths have been busted by PEDro (which celebrated its 15th anniversary in October 2014). We examined common misconceptions and linked them to robust evidence that disproves these ideas.
- Myth 1: The type of mattress you sleep on prevents back pain
Almost 80 per cent of people suffer from back pain at some point in their lives. But no high-quality clinical research has been undertaken to answer the question around whether a particular type of mattress will prevent back pain. Any suggestions to the contrary are likely to be marketing tools.
- Myth 2: Stretching prevents injury and muscle soreness in recreational runners
Millions of people around the world get their exercise from running. We’re often told we should warm up with stretches before we start, or stretch after we finish. But reviews have proved that this makes no difference to muscle soreness or injury prevention.
- Myth 3: You should wear a neck brace if you have a whiplash neck injury
No, these don’t aid recovery. Whiplash occurs in around 60 per cent of road accidents. We sometimes see celebrities wearing a neck brace after suffering whiplash, but these neck braces do not make any difference to recovery from whiplash.
- Myth 4: Ultrasound enhances recovery after ankle sprain
Ankle sprains are the most common sports injury. There are many websites stating that ultrasound may aid ankle sprain recovery, but high quality clinical research has proved this is not true. Ankle sprains get better pretty quickly, regardless of intervention using ultrasound.
- Myth 5: Incentive spirometry prevents complications in those undergoing upper abdominal or cardiac surgery
Incentive spirometers are devices into which patients blow to help them take deep breaths. Given that abdominal and cardiac surgery are common, this means that many hundreds of thousands of patients are being given these devices and told their use will aid in recovery. We can pinpoint robust and major clinical research proving that incentive spirometry doesn’t prevent complications after upper abdominal surgery or cardiac surgery.
Patients should consult their physiotherapist or doctor before making any changes to treatment.