Back Pain Facts

Back pain is any type of pain or discomfort throughout the posterior portion of your trunk, from the pelvis up through the neck. Back pain is the second most commonly reported problem according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Learn more about back pain ›

Symptoms of Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain may occur with other symptoms depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Back pain due to infection or inflammation may be accompanied by a fever; whereas, back pain due to fibromyalgia may include symptoms such as insomnia and fatigue. The range of symptoms that may occur with lower back pain include:

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Fatigue

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Treatments for Lower Back Pain

Low back pain can range from mild, dull, annoying pain, to persistent, severe, disabling pain in the lower back. Pain in the lower back can restrict mobility and interfere with normal functioning.

Low back pain is one of the most significant health problems facing society today. Consider these statistics from the National Institutes of Health:

  • Eight out of ten people have back pain at some time in their life.

  • Back pain is a common cause of activity limitation in children and adults of all ages.

Even with today's technology, the exact cause of low back pain can be difficult to determine. In most cases, back pain may be a symptom of many different causes, including any or several of the following:

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Living With Back Pain

You may not always feel like taking the time to exercise, but it’s been proved to help prevent back pain. If you do just 15 minutes of back exercises three times a week, you’ll go a long way toward strengthening your back, neck, and shoulder muscles. You’ll also be more flexible and less likely to injure your back. The exercises in the following slides are intended specifically to prevent back pain. You should talk with your doctor before you start any new exercise routine.

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Personal Story: Dancing with Pain

By Loolwa Khazzoom, Venice, CA

Back in the day, I was an über athletic chick: an avid cyclist, swimmer, and jogger, a women’s self-defense instructor, and, most important, a dance fiend. On any given night of the week, you could catch me at the local clubs, euphorically dancing the night away.

That all changed following a hit-and-run, head-on car collision in 1997—when I joined the ranks of millions of Americans (more than half the population) living with chronic pain. Turning to the health care system, I soon found myself spinning through a hell common to those seeking chronic pain relief.

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Back pain is one of the most common medical problems. In fact, eight out of 10 people will experience back pain at some point in their lives.