Pain
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My Aching Back!

Nearly 65 million Americans are burdened by back pain. Test your smarts on what causes back pain and how to find relief.

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My Aching Back!
My Aching Back!
Question 1 of 20 Correct

What causes back pain?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: All of the above. Most often back pain results from strained muscles and ligaments that surround the spine. Structural problems with the bones of the spine may also cause back pain.

My Aching Back!
Question 2 of 20 Correct

True or false: High heels can cause back pain.

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: This is true. High heels can affect posture and increase the likelihood of back pain. Wear flats as often as possible.

My Aching Back!
Question 3 of 20 Correct

True or false: A thick wallet can cause back pain.

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: This is true. Sitting on a thick wallet affects spinal alignment. This can contribute to back pain and eventually arthritis. Keep your wallet less than one-fourth-inch thick.

My Aching Back!
Question 4 of 20 Correct

Which of the following is a risk factor for low-back pain?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: All of the above. You're at risk for low-back pain if you've previously had it, are age 50 or older, are pregnant or obese, or have weak core muscles, arthritis or osteoporosis.

My Aching Back!
Question 5 of 20 Correct

True or false: People who do manual labor have more back pain than people who sit during most of their workday.

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: This is false. People who sit for their jobs have more back problems than those who do manual labor. If you are seated for most of your day, make an effort to stand up, stretch and walk as often as possible.

My Aching Back!
Question 6 of 20 Correct

Which of these puts the equivalent of 100 extra pounds of stress on your lower back?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Bad posture can put the equivalent of 100 extra pounds of stress on your lower back.

My Aching Back!
Question 7 of 20 Correct

How many weeks does it take most people to fully recover from back pain?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Ninety-five percent of people are fully recovered from back pain in 12 weeks. Sixty percent are usually recovered in just 1 to 3 weeks.

My Aching Back!
Question 8 of 20 Correct

Which of these healthcare providers might you need to see for your back pain?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Any of the above doctors may treat back pain. If the cause of your back pain is not known, you may need to see a neurologist. A rheumatologist can help if you have muscle or joint swelling or brittle bones.

My Aching Back!
Question 9 of 20 Correct

True or false: Stress can make back pain worse.

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: This is true. Stress creates tension in the muscles of your neck and lower back, which can lead to stiffness and soreness.

My Aching Back!
Question 10 of 20 Correct

Back pain can sometimes be a symptom of which of these conditions?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Back pain can be a symptom for a number of health conditions, including disk problems, urinary tract infections, kidney stones, hernias and, in rare cases, even cancer.

My Aching Back!
Question 11 of 20 Correct

True or false: Acupuncture is an effective treatment for back pain.

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: This is true. Medical acupuncture (which combines traditional Chinese acupuncture with Western adaptations) has been shown to provide effective pain relief for back pain.

My Aching Back!
Question 12 of 20 Correct

When lifting heavy objects, how should you protect your back?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: All of the above. When lifting a heavy object, remember to keep your back straight, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, bend and lift the item with your knees while holding it close to your body.

My Aching Back!
Question 13 of 20 Correct

Which of these is a possible treatment for back pain?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: All of the above. The majority of patients with low back pain will see improvement with controlled physical activity, physical therapy, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and, in appropriate situations, muscle relaxants.

My Aching Back!
Question 14 of 20 Correct

True or false: Stretching may feel good but is not recommended for back pain.

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: This is false. Stretching can target specific areas of your back to help ease pain. Your doctor can direct you to a physical therapist or certified personal trainer who can teach you specific stretches that will help your back pain.

My Aching Back!
Question 15 of 20 Correct

True or false: The best way to prevent back pain is to strengthen your core muscles.

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: This is true. Your core muscles -- especially the abdominal muscles, which oppose your back muscles -- help provide the support, muscular strength and stamina to prevent back injuries.

My Aching Back!
Question 16 of 20 Correct

Which of these is a reason why a doctor might suggest surgery to treat back pain?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Surgery for back pain is a last resort. Your doctor may recommend surgery if your nerve roots or nerves are being squeezed, there is too much pressure on the dura mater (the sac that surrounded the spinal cord and nerve roots) or if your back pain is caused by excessive back spasms or mechanical problems.

My Aching Back!
Question 17 of 20 Correct

True or false: A person who has spine surgery may have to have another in the future.

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: This is true. At least 20 percent of people who undergo an initial "simple operation" for back pain or leg pain will undergo one or more additional operations.

My Aching Back!
Question 18 of 20 Correct

True or false: Managing your weight may help prevent back pain.

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: This is true. Extra pounds put extra stress on your back, so losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight can help prevent back pain.

My Aching Back!
Question 19 of 20 Correct

Which type of mattress is best for a person who is dealing with back pain?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: People with medium-firm mattresses are the most likely to see improvement in their back pain.

My Aching Back!
Question 20 of 20 Correct

Which of these complications may develop if back pain is left untreated?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: All of the above. If you suffer from back pain, you may not be able to exercise or carry out many physical activities you once could, including sex. Changes in your physical abilities can lead to emotional problems, such as depression, as well as physical problems, such as hypertension and weight gain.

My Aching Back!
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You got out of 20 correct. You're a health wiz!

My Aching Back!
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My Aching Back!
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Pain

Pain is your body telling you that you have hurt it. This is a good thing, important when you are injured. It can also help diagnose problems with your body. Sometimes pain continues long after it's necessary. Amputees report phan...

tom pain in the legs or arms they no longer have. There are different kinds of pain, and describing the type is useful in diagnosis: recurring, constant, steady, knife-like, radiating, sharp, dull. Medicines that dull pain are analgesics. Those that kill all feeling are anesthetics.
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