Back Pain 101
Whether it's a dull muscle ache in the lower back or a severe sharp pain brought on when you try to bend over, back pain is a very common ailment. Most often back pain results from strained muscles and ligaments that surround the spine, but it can also be caused by structural problems or an injury. Fortunately, there are treatment options for back pain (even nonsurgical ones), and understanding the causes and symptoms is key to preventing it in the first place.Take our back pain quiz
Causes and Cures for Back Pain
Back pain can be caused by a number of problems, from osteoarthritis to muscle strain to a slipped disc. The pain can feel sharp and stabbing, dull and aching, or like it's radiating down your legs. Before seeking treatment, pay attention to your symptoms so you can clearly describe them to the doctor.Learn about different types of back pain
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15 to 20%
The percentage of Americans who develop
long-term back pain each year
U.S. Dept of Health & Human Services
Back Pain Q&As
What causes back pain?
Most chronic back pain is due to a few problems: 1. The shape of our spine, 2. How we use our spine, and 3. The forces pulling our spine into one direction or another . . .
- Q How can I reduce the risk of lower back pain?
- Q When should I go to a doctor for back pain?
- Q Does acupuncture treat back pain effectively?
- Q Who should consider surgery for back pain?
- Q Should I exercise when my back hurts?
- Q Can nonprescription medication help back pain?
- Q How can I prevent low back pain while sitting?
- Q How does posture affect back pain?
- Q What stretch relieves lower back pain?
- Q How is back pain diagnosed?
Back Pain VideosSee more back pain videos
Back Pain Action Plans
Before considering surgery, try these treatment strategies for eliminating back pain.
5 Non-Surgical Treatment Options The Best Mattress for Your Back How to Choose a Chiropractor Build Strength to Stop Back Pain Learn More: See All Back Pain Articles
8 Foods That Fight Chronic Pain
Eating a Mediterranean-style diet filled with vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats is key to managing chronic pain.
Dr. Oz's Simple Back Pain Prevention Plan
Dr. Oz shares his back pain prevention plan: three simple steps to keep pain away
Feel an unwelcome twinge in your low back every now and again? You're not alone. Researchers estimate that 8 out of 10 of us will grapple with low back issues at some point in our lives. Treating those twinges, aches and shooting pains -- and preventing them from happening in the first place -- often comes . . .