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Employer News | February 25, 2014
Employer News | February 25, 2014

Do You or Your Employees Have Low Back Pain?

Low back pain can happen anywhere below the ribs and above the legs. It is possible to hurt your back when you lift, reach, or twist. In fact, almost everyone has low back pain at one time or another.

Have you experienced back pain? The facts show that 80-90% of us will have at least one episode of significant back pain during our adult lives. Fortunately, most of these episodes only last 4-8 weeks.

Is Professional Treatment Needed?
For people with back pain, ice helps some to get relief, while heat helps others. Over-the-counter medications such as aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen and naproxen all relieve pain very effectively, and at minimal cost (especially if you use generics). Activity modification is also important. Avoid the activities that make pain worse, such as awkward positions, heavy lifting and prolonged positions (especially sitting).

What Treatment Is Available for More Severe Back Pain?
When you do seek treatment from a medical professional, be sure to ask lots of questions. There has been a lot of research on back pain, but there is still a great deal of uncertainty, even among “experts” on the subject. Different treatment strategies work for different patients, including chiropractic, physical therapy, medications, injections or surgery. Every treatment plan is different.

What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor?

  • Will this condition get better quickly?
  • Why are you recommending the medications you are prescribing? Are there over-the-counter options?
  • If this plan does not work, what do you plan to recommend next?
  • What is the evidence behind the recommendations you are making?
  • If I want to get another opinion on this, whom would you recommend?

As back pain tends to recur over time, you can sharpen your skills as a patient with each episode. By understanding your triggers and becoming an informed patient, you may be able to avoid future episodes of back pain.

Always check with your doctor first if you have questions.

Find out more about low back pain | View our interactive video | Research over 6,000 other health topics


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