5 facts about back pain
Back pain is common—in fact, 1 in 4 American adults has experienced back pain in the past three months. So it’s a good idea to know some facts about this common condition.
5 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT BACK PAIN
1. You probably won’t need imaging tests, like x-rays or MRIs. Most people don’t need them to recover from back pain.
2. You shouldn’t rest a sore back for more than a few days. Staying out of bed and walking a little may actually speed your recovery.
3. Back pain disrupts daily lives. It’s a leading cause of missed workdays.
4. Self-care may help. Doctors often suggest over-the-counter pain relievers, heating pads or ice packs.
5. Smoking contributes to back pain. It reduces circulation to the spine.
Sources: American Academy of Family Physicians; American Physical Therapy Association; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Although back pain often eases on its own, you may need to see a doctor in some cases. Take this assessment to help you decide when to do so.
FamilyDoctor.org. "Low Back Pain."
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. "Low Back Pain Fact Sheet."