Patients’ Guide to Taking Control of Lower Back Pain
Healthy Habits That Make a Difference
Welcome to the Patients’ Guide to Taking Control of Lower Back Pain.
Even if you have never experienced lower back pain, chances are high that you will at some point in the future. Low back pain is a common condition that affects men and women of all ages; in fact, it is the leading cause of job-related disability1. Low back pain can become chronic, so this Patients’ Guide focuses on preventing just that—you’ll learn how to take control of an acute case of low back pain so that you can keep it from becoming an ongoing pain. If you’ve “thrown out your back” while swinging a golf club or if you’ve strained your low back muscles from an intense day of gardening, this Patients’ Guide is for you.
Our goal is to provide you with the tools you need to tackle your lower back pain and stop it from coming back. With a few simple lifestyle adjustments, you may be able to reduce or eliminate your pain. Additionally, many of these changes provide benefits that go well beyond your back health to help you live a fuller, healthier life overall.
The earlier you begin taking care of your back, the better your chances of eliminating your lower back pain and avoiding the need for more serious therapies. Back surgery, for example, is usually only recommended for a small percentage of patients who experience low back pain. If your doctor does suggest that you consider surgery, you can become better informed by taking a look at our Spine Surgery Center.
This Patients’ Guide includes information on everything from complementary and alternative treatments, to the ways in which low back pain both hurts, and can be hurt by, your sleeping habits. Other articles include:
- the importance of exercise for treating low back pain and the best (and safest) ways to stay physically active, even when you’re hurting
- an overview of non-surgical, conventional treatments for lower back pain, such as prescription and over-the-counter medications, injections, and physical therapy
- advice on when to stop self-medicating and visit a qualified back specialistfor help treating your pain
A network of medical professionals—including your primary care physician, chiropractors, complementary and alternative medicine specialists, and yoga instructors—can help you take control of your back health and prevent low back pain. However, the Patients’ Guide to Taking Control of Lower Back Pain will make sure that you stay at the helm.
- Low Back Pain Fact Sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorder and Stroke Web site, National Institutes of Health. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/backpain/detail_backpain.htm. Updated September 4, 2012. Accessed September 13, 2012.
- Highsmith J, Milivojevic JJ. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Back Pain. New York: Alpha Books; 2011