“Back Pain Offered New Hope”

If you deal with daily chronic back pain, you’re willing to try almost anything to find relief. About 80 percent of adults experience low back pain at some point in their lifetimes. It is the most common cause of job-related disability. Chronic back pain is defined as pain that persists for 12 weeks or longer. About 20 percent of people affected by acute low back pain develop chronic low back pain with persistent symptoms at one year. Chronic pain usually cannot be cured. But, treatments can help. They include medicines, acupuncture, electrical stimulation and surgery. Other treatments include psychotherapy, relaxation and meditation therapy, biofeedback, and behavior modification. For longer-lasting relief, a doctor may suggest a pain pump. Chronic back pain tends to be very difficult to treat, especially in cases involving failed back surgery or neuropathic pain (nerve pain). Men and women are equally affected by low back pain, which can range in intensity from a dull, constant ache to a sudden, sharp sensation that leaves the person incapacitated. Back pain has grown worse in recent years. In 1990, a study ranking the most burdensome conditions in the U.S. in terms of mortality or poor health as a result of disease put low back pain in sixth place; in 2010, low back pain jumped to third place.

Download the complete article (a PDF).