» Faqs
Faqs
My 83-year-old mother was recently diagnosed with spinal stenosis. She mostly suffers from back pain and sometimes pain down her leg. In order to avoid the pain, she stays bent forward most of the tim ...more
I'm thinking about trying acupuncture for my low back pain. I've tried everything else and I don't want to take pain meds any more. I think I can handle the pokey needle part but are there other side ...more
We were very surprised when our son started having low back pain. He went from having what they call a spondylolysis (spinal fracture) to a spondylolisthesis (fracture that separates and shifts). Wh ...more
Our company is going to move us away from sitting at desks more toward a standing station. This is supposed to help us reduce our work stress and hopefully reduce absenteeism due to back problems. Do ...more
I've been having some back pain lately that seems to be getting worse. Now it's going down my right leg. I notice if I sit up straight, the pain is better. If I slouch, the pain is worse. What does th ...more
Anyone with a joint replacement knows to carry a special letter from the doctor when traveling through airport security. Even with the documentation, travelers with implants can expect delays while se ...more
How do professional athletes get a herniated disk and six weeks later they are back on the field? I exercise almost everyday but when I got my disk problem, I was out of commission for a good six mont ...more
I've been diagnosed with lumbar spinal stenosis. What happens to people like me who get this condition? Spinal stenosis describes a clinical syndrome of buttock or leg pain. These symptoms may occur ...more
What's the best way to predict prognosis after the first episode of low back pain? Prognosis by definition is the forecast of what will probably happen and the outcome of an illness, injury, disease o ...more
I'm back to work after four weeks off for back pain but the pain isn't gone. I just suck it up and do my job, but I'm wondering if I'll ever get back to my old self. What are my chances for a full rec ...more
How well do disc replacements hold up in the long run? The one I have now is three years old and holding well. Total Disc Replacement (TDR) in the lumbar spine (low back) for degenerative disc disease ...more
What do you think about Pilates for the treatment of low back pain? I hear some of my friends swear by it and others say it made them worse. I've just started having some back problems so I want to he ...more
I just saw my doctor for a problem I've developed with back pain. I got a lot of positive messages like "there's no permanent damage" and I should "recover quickly and easily." I was told to stay acti ...more
Here's my problem. I have chronic low back pain and all I can get the doctor to suggest is "stay active and exercise." I'm frustrated because I have ankle arthritis that makes exercise difficult. I ha ...more
Our 82-year-old mother has changed drastically in the last six weeks. She went from being a swinging hipster to being practically confined to a wheelchair. And all for one reason: back pain. The docto ...more
Can you explain why my doctor and my Physical Therapist call my back problem two different things? At the doctor's office, they tell me I have lumbago with sciatica. My Physical Therapist calls it pir ...more
I just spent $125.00 on an office visit with a physician for my low back pain. All I got was advice to stay on my feet and active, a brochure on low back pain, and a boot out the door. Does this seem ...more
I've given up on trying to get pain relief from my back and leg pain with massage, cold, heat, acupuncture, and exercise. I'm letting the surgeon inject me with whatever it is they use for this type o ...more
I discovered the hard way that I am what they call a "catastrophizer" and I have a problem called fear-avoidance behaviors (FABs). This all relates to my chronic back pain. Yesterday I heard a report ...more
I'm mystified by the advice I've gotten for my back pain. It seems serious to me with severe degeneration of the spine and disc narrowing at all levels in my low back yet the doctor I'm seeing and the ...more
Everyone has a duty to help reduce health care costs. In this article, Physical Therapists step up to bat with one idea: determine when advanced imaging is really needed. They start by looking at a pa ...more
The radiology report I have on my spinal MRI says a few things about "artifacts." What are those exactly? Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is one of the best ways to take a look inside the spine and s ...more
How do I know if I should ask for X-rays? I've had low back pain for three months now and it's not going away. Maybe knowing what's wrong would help me figure out what to do. On the other hand, I don' ...more
I just found out my nagging back and leg pain is from a disc herniation. The surgeon tells me I can go to Physical Therapy or have the disc removed. I have a trip to Europe planned (the dream of a lif ...more
How Long Can You Wait Before Getting Help for That Lumbar Disc Many people with lumbar disc herniations opt for a wait-and-see approach to treatment. And that approach is usually recommended by most s ...more
I had X-rays taken of my low back and wish I never knew what I know now. The X-rays showed severe arthritic degeneration and severe stenosis. Suddenly, I started feeling much worse. It didn't change t ...more
Is it true that being tall is actually bad for your back and makes you more likely to blow a disc? Somebody at work told us that. We've each got $5.00 riding on this one. Maybe us short guys finally h ...more
In the old days when I had back and leg pain, the Physical Therapist would put me on a traction table and stretch my back out. That seemed to help quite a bit. Now when I go in to see the Physical The ...more
I took on the job of assistant coach for a college football team. Many of the athletes had back pain during the playing season. Is this typical? If not, I need to take a closer look at what we might b ...more
I am in a rehab program for my chronic low back pain. The Physical Therapist wants me to join a group doing an exercise program called Pilates. What can you tell me about it? Does it work? Is it worth ...more
I broke my sacrum when I fell from the second story of a building that was under construction. It's not a simple break -- this one is called a U-shape sacral fracture. I had surgery and they plated th ...more
I have extreme low back pain and the doc says "lose weight." Will losing weight help? That's a very good question. Patients with low back pain who are overweight or obese are often advised to lose wei ...more
What is minimally invasive spine surgery? The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) has recently published an instructional course lecture for spine surgeons on the subject of minimally inva ...more
Q: I fell from a ladder and hurt my back. I'm out on worker's compensation with no hope of getting back to work the way I feel right now. I'm also quite a bit overweight. Is there any hope for me? Yo ...more
If artificial disc replacements are available now, why do surgeons continue doing spinal fusions instead? For a very long time, spinal fusion was the answer to chronic low back pain. But with time, su ...more
Is there any chance my low back pain will just go away by itself eventually? I've had it for eight months now. It gets better, then worse, then better, etc. What happens to a condition like low back p ...more
I heard a report on the radio that people with fluctuating back pain have the best chance for recovery. What exactly is fluctuating back pain? There are literally thousands of studies done on back pa ...more
I've been having some strange leg pain on the left side. First it was shooting pain down the leg. Now it feels like pins and needles, and sometimes I get an electric shock sensation. What could be cau ...more
I have suffered from chronic leg pain ever since I had a disc problem and surgery to remove the disc. I now have a spinal cord stimulation (SCS) device. It doesn't get rid of all the pain but about 60 ...more
Dad has tried many treatments for back and leg pain from spinal stenosis. The surgeon has suggested trying something called an X-stop next. If the other treatments didn't work, why should this one? Sp ...more
Broadly speaking, fusion disease is the muscle atrophy (wasting) and weakness that can occur when muscles, nerves, and soft tissues are cut and stripped away from the spine during the fusion process.I ...more
My brother and I are having a debate about back pain. We both seem to suffer from chronic low back pain. He maintains that we have gotten out of shape because we can't do anything with the pain. I thi ...more
I hurt my back at work six weeks ago and I'm still hobbling around. My wife wants me to give it more time before going back to work. Mentally, I'm ready and my job does keep me moving around, which se ...more
Six of my friends turned 65 this year and all ended up having surgery to fuse their spine because of spinal stenosis. Is this a fad or just something to expect with aging like having your wisdom teeth ...more
If you sprain a ligament holding the sacroiliac joint, does it ever heal properly? The sacroiliac joint (SIJ) formed by the sacrum wedged between the spine and the hip is the subject of ongoing contro ...more
I have a high-grade spondylolisthesis that I've had since my early 20s. As I get older I notice more back pain. So far I've managed to avoid surgery. Is there anything else I can do to keep this from ...more
I had a microdiscectomy for a herniated disc at L45 about 10 months ago. The back pain is fine but the leg pain has come back. If the disc is gone, why am I having leg pain again? Over 200,000 discect ...more
Everyone in my family has had disc problems. I'm the youngest (44 years old). Is there anything I can do to prevent disc problems? Scientists have some evidence that genetics plays a role in disc dege ...more
I had a disc removed from my lumbar spine but then the back and leg pain started up again. Now they want to do another discectomy AND fuse the spine. Do I really need a fusion? It seems so permanent. ...more
My 23-year-old daughter has been diagnosed with a low-grade spondylolisthesis. I understand this is a slippage of the 5th lumbar vertebra forward over the sacrum below it. What does low-grade mean and ...more
I've heard that if you have a herniated disc, it will eventually heal itself. So why bother having surgery? There are some long-term studies comparing the results of patients with degenerative disc di ...more
Does it matter if the Physical Therapist manipulates my back with me on my side versus on my back? When my regular therapist was gone, I noticed the therapist who took the regular therapist's place us ...more
After six years of suffering with low back pain with no known cause, my doctor tells me I'm just going to have to learn to live with the pain. That's just not acceptable to me. Are there any other opt ...more
I'm having trouble finding someone who will take my back pain seriously and help me. The doctor says to exercise and it will get better. Well, I've tried exercise and the pain always comes back. Is it ...more
What's a graded functional rehab program for a spine fracture? That's what I'm headed for in the next few weeks. I kind of wanted to know what I'm getting into with this. Any kind of graded exercise m ...more
Q. The Physical Therapist I am seeing right now doesn't seem very interested in finding out what's wrong with my back. She just wants to analyze my movements and come up with a plan of activities and ...more
I've had chronic low back pain for years. My daughter was helped by a treatment called the McKenzie method. Could this help me too?
I've had bouts of low back pain off and on for the last three years. I notice when I work out at the gym I feel better. As soon as I lay off the exercise, the back pain is back. Will I ever heal or am ...more
I've had back pain off and on for the last six months. The doctor can't find anything wrong and has strongly advised me to exercise. How can I exercise when my back hurts?
I've had all kinds of treatment for my low back pain. I've tried massage, acupressure, trigger point therapy and beyond. None of those work as well as the spinal mobilization my Physical Therapist doe ...more
I've been told I have osteoporosis throughout my spine from smoking. I'm trying to quit smoking, but it's very hard. Even though I still smoke, would exercise help my back?
I've been seeing a Physical Therapist for low back pain. One of the exercises is a tummy tuck in three positions. I'm supposed to draw my belly button in while keeping my spine level. It seems very ea ...more
I've been seeing a Physical Therapist (PT) for a problem with my low back. There's a PT student who treated me one day when my regular therapist was out sick. She did a manipulation on my back that re ...more
I've been off work with low back pain for the last six weeks. I'm better now but not pain free. How do I know when it's safe to go back to work?
I've been in rehab for a back injury. My program is going to be changed next week to "core training." What is it and what does it do?
I've been having some low back pain for about six months now. I'm seeing a Physical Therapist who wants me to start doing things that make it hurt. I'm better when I avoid those movements. Doesn't it ...more
I've been having some back pain the doctor thinks is disc related. I was told to keep active and exercise. Nothing I do seems to hurt until much later. How can I figure out what makes it worse and avo ...more
I've been having a nagging backache for weeks now. I finally went to see my doctor. She suggested I try a couple of sessions with a Physical Therapist. The therapist just did a little pressing on my s ...more
I've been going to a new pain clinic that specializes in low back pain. They seem to have the approach that I need to work through the pain. I thought the idea that no pain, no gain was no longer used ...more
I've been doing Physical Therapy for low back pain. My therapist says I've gained a lot of strength in my back. Does this mean my back muscles are actually getting bigger?
I've been diagnosed with sacroiliac dysfunction. What is it?
I've always had problems with low back pain but it seems to go away quickly when I get back on my program of exercises. Lately even with my exercises, it's taking longer to recover. What can I do to c ...more
I've always had friends and family members with back pain but I prided myself in never having that problem. Well, guess what? I'm 55-years-old, newly retired, and down with a bad back. What's the best ...more
I'm wondering about the treatment I received for low back pain this week. In the past, when my back flared up, I would see my Physical Therapist and get a massage and some heat. Now that's all gone by ...more
I'm using a back support belt for my intense low back pain. It helps so much. Why can't I wear it all the time?
I'm starting to slip into a deep funk. A back injury years ago is acting up and causing pain everyday now. I'm not sleeping well. I can't exercise or golf like I used to. I've got to get this turned a ...more
I'm seeing a Physical Therapist for traction to the low back area. She told me it would take a few sessions to find out what kind of traction might work best for me. I thought traction was where they ...more
I'm seeing a Physical Therapist for low back pain that started two weeks ago. The treatment doesn't seem to be focused on getting rid of the pain. Shouldn't that be first?
I'm seeing a Physical Therapist for low back pain that just won't go away. Every session is like attending a motivational conference. Is all the counseling, information, and rah-rah really necessary?
I'm seeing a Physical Therapist for low back pain that I've had for more than six months. What are some ways I can measure improvement?
I'm seeing a Physical Therapist for back pain that's lasted six months. My exercise program isn't based on my pain levels. I'm supposed to keep increasing how long I exercise. This just doesn't make s ...more
I'm seeing a Physical Therapist for low back pain and sciatica. Part of the treatment includes traction on a table for 20 minutes. It's been a week of treatments and so far I'm not seeing any results. ...more
I'm prone to low back pain. I'm afraid to go back to work or do sports because I don't want to bring on the pain. How can I get past this?
I'm on worker's compensation for a work-related back injury. The doctor's report mentions disability and impairment. What's the difference between these two things?
Q. I'm looking for an exercise program to help with my low back pain. So far it seems like everything I've tried just makes me worse. What can you suggest?
I'm learning how to do some belly exercises to help with my back pain. While lying on my back with my knees bent I put a heavy book on my stomach. Then I'm supposed to pull my stomach muscles in. How ...more
I'm in a rehab program to help me with chronic back pain. Is it better to go with the attitude "no pain, no gain" or "let pain be your guide"? I've heard both from different people.
I'm having some serious back problems at work. The doctor suggested Physical Therapy but my health insurance doesn't cover PT. Is it worth it to pay out-of-pocket for this service?
I'm having some new pains in my low back area. I notice when I stand on my right leg I can stay straight, but when I stand on my left leg, my whole body twists to the right and my pain is worse. What ...more
I'm going to see a Physical Therapist for my first bout of low back pain. Should I let a student Physical Therapist treat me? I don't want to end up like my brother who has chronic low back pain becau ...more
I'm going to a pain clinic now to try and help me with my chronic low back pain. Everyone seems convinced that the answer is exercise. I like to exercise and I always have, but it doesn't really seem ...more
I'm 79-years old and in good health. I've started a weight-training program at the local health club. How often should I do my exercises to keep the benefit going?
I'm 18 years old with a back pain problem. I keep missing my Physical Therapy appointments. I had to drop out of treatment. Is there a program that makes phone call reminders for patients? I'd like to ...more
I'd like to try doing some Pilates exercise for a chronic back problem I have. Do I need to see a Physical Therapist? Or can I just take a regular Pilates class?
I went to a Physical Therapist for my back pain. She tested and measured how my legs moved in and out while I was lying on my stomach. By the time she was done, I felt much better. How is that possibl ...more
I went to a Physical Therapist for back pain. I had to do three tests that involved sitting on the floor and getting up again, bending forward, and walking back and forth along the floor as fast as po ...more
I went on-line and saw there are international guidelines recommending Physical Therapy treatment for chronic back pain suffers. What can this kind of treatment do for me?
I was reading about back pain and its effect on walking. There was a report that when someone has back pain, the coordination between the trunk, thorax, and pelvis gets off balance. Can you help me un ...more
I was just diagnosed with my second lumbar disc herniation. The first one was at L45. This one is higher up around L23. I was able to see a Physical Therapist for the first one and avoid surgery. What ...more
I started having back pain about two years ago. The doctor says its mechanical and nothing is seriously wrong with me. When I do the exercises the therapist gave me, the pain goes away. But if I miss ...more
I seem to be all bound up in fears and anxiety about my back pain. I'm afraid it will hurt if I do certain things so I stop doing them. Now I find I'm doing less and less and hurting more and more. Is ...more
I saw an orthopedic surgeon for back and leg pain I just started having. Without even an X-ray or MRI, I was diagnosed with a probable herniated disc and put on medications. I'm supposed to see a Phys ...more
I saw a Physical Therapist for low back pain that just wouldn't go away. I was asked all kinds of questions about my activities, how far I can walk, my ability to use the bathroom, and so on. Are all ...more
I saw a news report that back pain sufferers can prevent future episodes by doing neutral zone exercises. What are these?
I saw a chiropractor and a Physical Therapist for back pain this month. They both did this funky test pressing against my backbone several times. What does this tell them?
I recently took a misstep off a curb and landed on my right buttocks. I have been seeing a Physical Therapist to help with the pain in my sacroiliac joint and difficulty of lifting my leg. One of the ...more
I read a magazine article about back pain and smoking. What is it about cigarette smoking that causes back pain?
I notice as people age they seem to stoop forward more and more. What can I do to keep this from happening to me?
I know it's supposed to be better to lift with bent legs. But it's easier and faster to keep my legs straight. Is lifting with straight legs really so bad?
I just got the results of an MRI on my back. It shows a slight bulge at the L45 disc. My doctor advises exercise to improve the nutrition of the spine. What does nutrition have to do with a bulging di ...more
I just came back from the Physical Therapist's office. I'm being treated for low back pain that started about three weeks ago. No one seems to know what's causing the problem. How can they treat me if ...more
I injured my lower back a few weeks ago. It still hurts, but my doctor wants me to go back to work. Shouldn't I wait until I don't have any more pain?
I hurt my back while lifting at work. I've been off work for six weeks, and I've gained 20 pounds. I was already 20 pounds overweight. My doctor is advising me to lose weight to improve my back recove ...more
I hurt my back in a lifting accident at work. As part of my home program, the therapist insists that I sleep with a pillow between my legs. The knees and ankles both have to be supported by this pillo ...more
I hurt my back in a car accident. The Physical Therapist has been teaching me spinal stabilization exercises. How do these exercises work?
I hurt my back at work several months ago. It still bothers me off and on. I do a lot of lifting and climbing. Would it help if I did some exercises to strengthen my arms and legs?
I hurt my back at work last week. The doctor who saw me told me to stay active and get back to my usual routine as soon as possible. I'm not really getting any better. Aren't there some specific exerc ...more
I hurt my back about a week ago. I've been getting therapy for it. Is it too soon to expect improvement?
I have low back pain. If I just use a brace, will it go away?
I have low back pain that I suspect might be my sacroiliac joint. How can I know for sure?
I have low back pain for the first time. My Physical Therapist started me on a program to train my low back and abdominal muscles. Will these exercises pay off in the long run?
I have chronic lower back pain and my doctor wants me to go for TENS. What is that and how does it work?
I have been treated for low back pain since my car accident four months ago. I seem to be getting better slowly, but how do I know if the treatment I'm getting is helping or if I'm just getting better ...more
I've had chronic low back pain for years. My daughter was helped by a treatment called the McKenzie method. Could this help me too?
I've had bouts of low back pain off and on for the last three years. I notice when I work out at the gym I feel better. As soon as I lay off the exercise, the back pain is back. Will I ever heal or am ...more
I've had all kinds of treatment for my low back pain. I've tried massage, acupressure, trigger point therapy and beyond. None of those work as well as the spinal mobilization my physical therapist doe ...more
I've been seeing a physical therapist for chronic low back pain. I'd like to keep track of measurable improvement. Is there some scientific way to do this?
I've been seeing a physical therapist (PT) for a problem with my low back. There's a PT student who treated me one day when my regular therapist was out sick. She did a manipulation on my back that re ...more
I've been reading that bedrest is no longer recommended for back pain. Why?
I've been off work with low back pain for the last six weeks. I'm better now but not pain free. How do I know when it's safe to go back to work?
I've been in rehab for a back injury. My program is going to be changed next week to "core training." What is it and what does it do?
I've been in treatment for a back problem for about six weeks now. I feel like I'm about the same, but my wife says she sees some progress. Is there any way to keep track of my results more objectivel ...more
I've been having some trouble with back pain off and on over the last six months. Right now it's more on than off. My doctor tells me quitting smoking would help. Is it enough to cut back the number o ...more
I've been having some low back pain for about six months now. I'm seeing a physical therapist who wants me to start doing things that make it hurt. I'm better when I avoid those movements. Doesn't it ...more
I've been having some back pain the doctor thinks is disc related. I was told to keep active and exercise. Nothing I do seems to hurt until much later. How can I figure out what makes it worse and avo ...more
I've been having low back pain off and on for the last two months. It's worse after sitting for more than an hour. The doctor and physical therapist both tell me it's from worn out facet joints. How c ...more
I've been having a nagging backache for weeks now. I finally went to see my doctor. She suggested I try a couple of sessions with a physical therapist. The therapist just did a little pressing on my s ...more
I've been exercising on my own after finishing a back rehab program for an injury six months ago. The therapist gave me balance exercises to do. I get on my hands and knees and lift one leg and the op ...more
I've been doing physical therapy for low back pain. My therapist says I've gained a lot of strength in my back. Does this mean my back muscles are actually getting bigger?
I've been diagnosed with sacroiliac dysfunction. What is it?
I've always had problems with low back pain but it seems to go away quickly when I get back on my program of exercises. Lately even with my exercises, it's taking longer to recover. What can I do to c ...more
I've always had friends and family members with back pain but I prided myself in never having that problem. Well, guess what? I'm 55-years-old, newly retired, and down with a bad back. What's the best ...more
I'm wondering about the treatment I received for low back pain this week. In the past, when my back flared up, I would see my physical therapist and get a massage and some heat. Now that's all gone by ...more
I'm very distressed because I hurt my back at work two weeks ago and I'm not getting better. My wife says I'm just making myself worse worrying about it. Can stress over an injury really keep me from ...more
I'm thinking of wearing a belt at work to protect my back while lifting and carrying objects. What kind of belt should I get?
I'm thinking about switching jobs at work. But the new job involves much more lifting. Should I avoid this kind of work? Is it bad for my back?
I'm supposed to be doing an exercise for my back called "cats and cows." First I pull my belly in and arch my back like a cat. Then I drop my belly down and sag like a cow. I can never remember how to ...more
I'm starting to slip into a deep funk. A back injury years ago is acting up and causing pain everyday now. I'm not sleeping well. I can't exercise or golf like I used to. I've got to get this turned a ...more
I'm seeing a physical therapist for low back pain that just won't go away. Every session is like attending a motivational conference. Is all the counseling, information, and rah-rah really necessary?
I'm seeing a physical therapist for low back pain that I've had for more than six months. What are some ways I can measure improvement?
I'm seeing a physical therapist for low back pain and sciatica. Part of the treatment includes traction on a table for 20 minutes. It's been a week of treatments and so far I'm not seeing any results. ...more
I'm seeing a physical therapist for back pain that's lasted six months. My exercise program isn't based on my pain levels. I'm supposed to keep increasing how long I exercise. This just doesn't make s ...more
I'm seeing a physical therapist for another bout of low back pain. I see in the clinic there are groups of patients exercising together who also have back pain. Once I'm done with PT do I progress to ...more
I'm recovering from an intense three weeks of back pain. I'll start back to work next Monday. When is it safe to go back to my bowling league and softball team?
I'm prone to low back pain. I'm afraid to go back to work or do sports because I don't want to bring on the pain. How can I get past this?
I'm on a weight loss and exercise program because of back pain. I'm five feet tall and weigh 300 pounds. I'm trying to save money for a trip when I lose 100 pounds. Can I exercise at home and get the ...more
I'm not very physically active. I have a desk job and then in the evening, I'm too tired to do anything. Why is my back sore?
I'm learning how to do some belly exercises to help with my back pain. While lying on my back with my knees bent I put a heavy book on my stomach. Then I'm supposed to pull my stomach muscles in. How ...more
I'm in a rehab program to help me with chronic back pain. Is it better to go with the attitude "no pain, no gain" or "let pain be your guide"? I've heard both from different people.
I'm in a catch-22 situation. My back hurts when I move it but my doctor wants me to move as much as possible. How can this really help?
I'm having some serious back problems at work. The doctor suggested physical therapy but my health insurance doesn't cover PT. Is it worth it to pay out-of-pocket for this service?
I'm having some pain in my low back (just on one side). Usually I can put my finger right on the spot. But sometimes it seems to move up or down a little. A few times, I could feel the pain clear to m ...more
I'm having some new pains in my low back area. I notice when I stand on my right leg I can stay straight, but when I stand on my left leg, my whole body twists to the right and my pain is worse. What ...more
I'm going to be seeing a physical therapist later this week for a recent bout with low back pain. What should I expect?
I'm going to a pain clinic now to try and help me with my chronic low back pain. Everyone seems convinced that the answer is exercise. I like to exercise and I always have, but it doesn't really seem ...more
I'm being treated for disc herniation as the cause of my low-back pain. How can they be sure that's what's causing the problem without an MRI?
I'm an amateur golfer trying to improve my swing. I notice at the top of my backswing I get twinges of low back pain. What could be causing this?
I'm a downhill ski instructor. Recently I hurt my back. Is it safe to ski when the back is sore? I've heard movement and activity is the best treatment and I don't want to miss any work.
I'm 79-years old and in good health. I've started a weight-training program at the local health club. How often should I do my exercises to keep the benefit going?
I'd like to try doing some Pilates exercise for a chronic back problem I have. Do I need to see a physical therapist? Or can I just take a regular Pilates class?
I'd like to strengthen my back muscles. What kind of exercises should I do? Do I need any special equipment?
I work in an office with 25 other people. Back pain is a common problem for many of us. I noticed several other people went to a physical therapist and got exercises. I saw my doctor and got an inform ...more
I went to a physical therapist for back pain. I had to do three tests that involved sitting on the floor and getting up again, bending forward, and walking back and forth along the floor as fast as po ...more
I went on-line to see what I could find about self-care for low back pain. Several sites mention the use of extension exercises for centralization. What is centralization? I'm not familiar with this t ...more
I watch an exercise show on TV everyday and try to do the exercises with them. Sometimes they use a Swiss ball. Those exercises look more difficult so I haven't tried them. Is there any real advantage ...more
I was surprised to find out MRIs can't really show what's wrong when back pain is a problem. I thought this was state-of-the art technology.
I was recently diagnosed with "lumbar osteophytes." What does this mean?
I was just diagnosed with my second lumbar disc herniation. The first one was at L45. This one is higher up around L23. I was able to see a physical therapist for the first one and avoid surgery. What ...more
I vowed I wasn't going to get all stiff and inflexible as I got older. But here I am at 55 and starting to notice less motion and less flexibility especially in my back. I exercise regularly every day ...more
I used to do a low-impact aerobics class every day, but ever since I developed low back pain, I've stayed away from the gym. Now I'm thinking I should exercise again. Could aerobics help my back?
 I think my abdominal muscles are weak but I don't know for sure. How can I figure this out?
I started walking for exercise to help my long-term back problem. Lately I've started getting a burning pain in my legs after a few minutes of walking. It goes away if I rest. What is happening?
I started having back pain about two years ago. The doctor says its mechanical and nothing is seriously wrong with me. When I do the exercises the therapist gave me, the pain goes away. But if I miss ...more
I started having back pain about a month ago that seems to be getting worse instead of better. How can I tell if there's something seriously wrong with me?
I sprained my back on the job about a month ago. I've been off work ever since. Is there anything I can do on my own to get back to work sooner?+
I seem to be all bound up in fears and anxiety about my back pain. I'm afraid it will hurt if I do certain things so I stop doing them. Now I find I'm doing less and less and hurting more and more. Is ...more
I see the drug stores have a heat wrap for use with low back pain. These are kept on for up to eight hours. I thought too much heat isn't good? I've always been told to use heat for up to 30 minutes.
I see that more and more fitness groups and health clubs are offering spinal stabilization classes. What are these exercises and how do they work?
I see so many people with low back pain who can't exercise. Some can hardly get around at work. I really like participating in sports of all kinds. With my limited schedule, is it more important to wo ...more
 I see a sign outside a local clinic advertising the new VAX-D treatment for low back pain. What is this? I have low back pain off and on. Could this help me?
I saw my doctor for back pain that came on when I lifted too much weight at work. The nurse gave me a pamphlet on back care and some advice on lifting. Is this really enough to get me back on my feet?
I saw an orthopedic surgeon for back and leg pain I just started having. Without even an X-ray or MRI, I was diagnosed with a probable herniated disc and put on medications. I'm supposed to see a phys ...more
I saw a report from Canada that some physical therapists don't think spinal manipulation works for low back pain. Does it?
I saw a physical therapist for low back pain that just wouldn't go away. I was asked all kinds of questions about my activities, how far I can walk, my ability to use the bathroom, and so on. Are all ...more
I saw a news report that back pain sufferers can prevent future episodes by doing neutral zone exercises. What are these?
I saw a chiropractor and a physical therapist for back pain this month. They both did this funky test pressing against my backbone several times. What does this tell them?
I recently took a misstep off a curb and landed on my right buttocks. I have been seeing a physical therapist to help with the pain in my sacroiliac joint and difficulty of lifting my leg. One of the ...more
I read a magazine article about back pain and smoking. What is it about cigarette smoking that causes back pain?
 I notice as people age they seem to stoop forward more and more. What can I do to keep this from happening to me? 
I know it's supposed to be better to lift with bent legs. But it's easier and faster to keep my legs straight. Is lifting with straight legs really so bad?
I know it's important to bend my knees when I lift heavy things. But I've had surgery on both of my knees, and they really hurt when they bend too far. How can I protect my knees and my back when I li ...more
I just came back from the physical therapist's office. I'm being treated for low back pain that started about three weeks ago. No one seems to know what's causing the problem. How can they treat me if ...more
I injured my back in a work-related activity. After surgery and rehab, I'm ready to go back to the job. I had to take a test to measure my motion and function. By the time I got done twisting, turning ...more
I hurt my back while lifting at work. I've been off work for six weeks, and I've gained 20 pounds. I was already 20 pounds overweight. My doctor is advising me to lose weight to improve my back recove ...more
I hurt my back on the job about three years ago. The physical therapist gave me stabilization exercises at that time. I've been pain free ever since. Now after delivering a 10-pound baby I'm having th ...more
I hurt my back in an on-the-job accident last week. I'm very interested in getting back to my regular exercise program and back to work. Should I tell my physical therapist this or just go with whatev ...more
I hurt my back in a work-related accident. Even though I use proper lifting techniques, all it took was a slight turn to the side and my back went out. How can I prevent this from happening again?
Hurt my back in a lifting accident at work. As part of my home program, the therapist insists that I sleep with a pillow between my legs. The knees and ankles both have to be supported by this pillow. ...more
I hurt my back in a car accident. The physical therapist has been teaching me spinal stabilization exercises. How do these exercises work?
I hurt my back at work and want to keep from getting hurt again. Will a back support help?
I hurt my back about a week ago. I've been getting therapy for it. Is it too soon to expect improvement?
I heard that more and more studies are showing that back belts don't really protect the back and may even weaken it. How is this possible?
I heard on the news that more and more people are going for alternative care to treat back pain. What is alternative care?
I hear a lot about quality of life. Even medical treatment is paid for by my insurance based on improving quality of life. What's included in this idea?
I have watched many co-workers injure their backs and never return to work. I always thought they were just soft. Now it's my turn. After hurting my back six weeks ago, I am still having enough pain t ...more
 I have low back pain. If I just use a brace, will it go away?
 I have low back pain for the first time. My physical therapist started me on a program to train my low back and abdominal muscles. Will these exercises pay off in the long run?
I have chronic lower back pain and my doctor wants me to go for TENS. What is that and how does it work? 
 I have chronic low back pain, and my doctor wants me to start exercising. He says I'll see improvement in just a few months. Will exercise really affect the muscles in my low back?
I have chronic low back pain that seems to come and go at least once a year. I've seen people at the gym working out with an exercise ball. They put their legs up on the ball while lying on their back ...more
I have chronic low back pain and wonder if a different mattress or type of bed would be beneficial.
I have been treated for low back pain since my car accident four months ago. I seem to be getting better slowly, but how do I know if the treatment I'm getting is helping or if I'm just getting better ...more
I have been shopping for a lumbar support to use while sitting at my computer. Do they really help?
I have been seeing a physical therapist for a back pain rehabilitation program. The therapist told me I am using my muscles to protect my back, which is keeping me from moving normally. Is this a comm ...more
I have been getting traction for sciatica that just started up a few weeks ago. It seems to be helping but it always gives me a headache. How long should I put up with the headache pain in order to ge ...more
I am pregnant and have low back pain. I've gotten ultrasound treatments to ease my back pain before. How come I can't get them now that I'm pregnant? I just had an ultrasound to look at my baby.
I am having pain down my leg to my knee. Is it possible that I have a pinched nerve?
I am going to have some muscle testing done for a chronic low back pain problem. Is it better to be tested when I'm having a relapse and the pain is at its worse--or when the pain has gone away?
I am eight months pregnant and have gotten comments about my "waddle walk." Why is this happening? Does it have anything to do with the aching in my groin area at the end of a day?
I am about 100 pounds overweight. I've had two work-related disc herniations. Does obesity wear out the discs?
I am a retired physical therapist who now has a son who is a doctor of physical therapy. Everything has changed so much since I was in practice 50 years ago. I understand that back pain is being viewe ...more
I am a regular exerciser. I walk three miles five times a week. I lift weights three times a week. Even so, I hurt my back last month and still haven't gotten over it. I thought exercise was supposed ...more
I am 71 years old and no spring chicken. I've had sacroiliac problems off and on for years. Usually it's a nagging ache in my low back. Now I'm having back and thigh pain. Can the sacroiliac joint cau ...more
How exactly should you lift something heavy without hurting your back?
How does low back pain get in the way of walking?
How does acupuncture work? I had two sessions and my back pain is all gone.
How common is lower back pain? It seems like everyone I know has a bad back.
How can you tell if a second bout of back pain is really just part of the first episode? I've had three rounds of back pain. Each one is a little different but the insurance company wants to say it's ...more
How can I treat my back pain without surgery?
How can I keep from hurting my lower back?
Help! I'm self-employed. I've hurt my back, and I've got to get back on the job right away. What can I do to return to my pre-injury level of activity?
Four years ago I had a disabling car accident. I haven't been able to go back to work since because of severe back pain. My doctor tells me the pain isn't a sign of harm, and that I can do anything I ...more
For the last six months, I have had pain in my sacroiliac joint. The pain seems to come and go, but I don't know what brings it on or makes it go away. At the same time, I've noticed some problems hol ...more
Fear-avoidance beliefs (FABs) is a fairly new concept. But it's one that researchers have validated as real and potentially harmful. FAB is the notion that activity and/or movement is going to cause m ...more
Everyone at the gym is doing Pilates for core strengthening. Is there really anything to this?
I have a lumbar spine problem called spondylolisthesis. Is it safe to do aerobic exercise with this condition?
Every time I go to the clinic or hospital I get a survey asking me if I was happy with the service. I'm always happy with the people and the treatment I get, but sometimes I'm not satisfied with the r ...more
I have a lot of pain in my lower back from an injury many years ago. At one point, my doctor wanted to put me on antidepressants, which I refused because I wasn't depressed. Now he wants me to go for ...more
Every time I go see the doctor about my chronic back pain I have to draw a picture of my pain on a little cartoon character. How does this help anything?
Every now and then my back goes out on me. It seems to happen at the oddest times. I'll be doing the simplest thing, like reaching for a glass of water or turning off a light. What's causing this to h ...more
Every magazine I read has the answer to low back pain. Usually, it's some kind of exercise program. But it's never the same set of exercises. Isn't there a one-exercise-fits-all kind of program for ba ...more
Does low back pain actually affect the muscles in the back?
Does anyone know what happens to people after they start having problems with back pain? I've heard that almost everyone will have a backache sometime in their life. I just had my first one. It went a ...more
I have a large herniated disc at L34 that is very painful and limits my activities. In preparation for spine surgery to repair the problem, I've been doing a modified program of Pilates exercises. How ...more
Do people with low back pain have different walking patterns than other people?
I have a kind of low back pain that makes it hard to bend over. My doctor says this is a problem of the sacroiliac joint. She wants me to have physical therapy. Will physical therapy take the pain awa ...more
Do patients with different low back problems have different amounts of pain?
Despite going to yoga, Pilates, and neuromuscular integrative action (NIA) classes, I still have chronic low back pain. What else can I do to get over this?
Could my divorce be giving me low back pain?
I have a disc problem in my low back. How should I try to position my back when sleeping at night?
Could a TENs stimulator help my chronic low back pain?
I have a computer job that requires long periods of sitting. Should I take the back of my chair off to help me sit up better?
Can you tell me what's the difference between disc herniation and disc protrusion? I saw two different surgeons for an opinion on what's causing my back pain. One told me it is a disc herniation. The ...more
I had two bouts of low back pain last year. I saw two different physical therapists at the same clinic. The treatment program was different each time. They both seemed to do the same kind of exam. Why ...more
I had surgery for spinal stenosis six months ago. I suppose I should be thankful that my back pain is all gone. I can walk now without stopping every few feet. I do have some residual numbness and wea ...more
Can you tell me what is flatback syndrome?
I had some tests done that show my low back pain is coming from a damaged and protruding disc. I opted to try diet and exercise instead of an operation. So far I've lost 50 pounds and my back pain is ...more
I had scoliosis as a kid. It hasn't bothered me much as an adult. But now I'm starting to notice more and more low back pain. Is there a connection?
Can you tell me what degenerative disc disease is? My mother just called and said this is what she's been diagnosed with. Is this a learn-to-live-with-it kind of condition? Or can something be done to ...more
I had an ultrasound treatment for low back pain. It only took five minutes and I didn't feel any better afterwards. Should I keep getting this treatment?
I had a vaginal hysterectomy so no muscles were cut. Even so I'm having back pain and weakness. How do you explain this?
Can you explain why I have tenderness to touch in my low back area? I've had low back pain for five months now. Just pressing on the skin and muscles makes it hurt. Why is that?
I had a back injury last year that seems to be fully recovered. Sometimes though I'll turn just the right way and get a twinge of pain. It makes me wonder if there isn't some kind of exercise I should ...more
Can you explain something to me? I work in the purchasing department of a large hospital. My job involves light lifting but constant bending over to pick up items and then putting them on shelves. I n ...more
I had a baby about six weeks ago, and I'm trying to get back in shape. Every time I do any exercises I get back and hip pain. Is this normal?
I found out I have a very small (quarter inch) difference in the length of my legs. The right is shorter than the left. Should I do anything about it?
I filled out a form at the rehab clinic when I went there for a problem with back pain. Most of the questions were about work and sex. I am retired and widowed. Why do they make us fill out forms like ...more
I don't have much time to exercise but I want to keep my back strong for my job. Is there one single exercise I can do that will cover all the bases?
I don't have back pain but there is a spot that is just plain stiff. Are there any exercises I can do to loosen this up?
I am strongly left-handed and play amateur tennis in local, regional, and state tournaments. I often wonder if I shouldn't practice playing with my right hand just to stay evened out. Is there any res ...more
Can I make my back pain worse if I'm afraid to move? In other words, if I expect my back to hurt, will it?
I am seeking the services of an acupuncturist for chronic low back pain. But I'm finding that some people trained in acupuncture have other skills as well. Some are also naturopaths or massage therapi ...more
Can having one leg that is three-quarters of an inch shorter than the other cause a disc to become herniated in the low back?
I am seeing my doctor for back pain but would like to try acupuncture too. Is it ok to do both?
Can exercise really prevent back pain? Which ones should I do?
Can coughing from asthma cause back pain? My husband and daughter both have asthma and often complain about backaches and pains.
Both my grandparents were told they have spinal stenosis. What is it and what causes it?
Before beginning a new job on an assembly line, I had to attend a two-day class on how to prevent back injuries. Part of the class was on proper lifting and handling techniques.
As part of a return-to-work evaluation, I was recently tested for back strength. I was afraid of hurting myself again. I don’t think I gave my best effort. Will this affect the results?
As my parents age, I see them with more pain in their backs. It's not from lifting and stuff or arthritis, just pain. Do the backs get more fragile as people age?
Are women employed outside the home more likely to have back pain compared to homemakers?
Are there any studies to show how much rest is needed between work days for the back and other body parts to recover from chronic use? I'm on partial disability and trying to figure out how much I can ...more
Are people who are overweight and therefore larger in size for their height stronger than people the same size who weigh less?
Are men and women equally at risk for developing low back pain?
An X-ray showed a vertebra in my low back that is slipping forward. Will it keep slipping? Could it slip completely off the rest of my spine?
After years of chronic low back pain, I started exercising regularly despite having bad days. Over time my pain has gotten much better. Though I still have some bad days, these are far fewer. Can anyo ...more
After six months of treatment for back pain, the doctor has told me I'm "recovered." I may be pain free, but there are still many normal things I can't do yet. How can I be "recovered?"
After six months of daily back pain I got better by getting out and exercising. A friend of mine did the same thing but her doctor advised her to join a group. Does it really matter if exercise is don ...more
After several weeks of back pain I went to see the doctor. An X-ray showed I have a spondylolysis on one side. The doctor suggested using a corset and avoiding sports activity for six months. How's th ...more
After seven months of daily low back pain, I went to see a physical therapist. The therapist put me in all kinds of positions. How will this really help me?
After my first child was born, I started having sacroiliac joint pain. My physical therapist says this can happen after childbirth. The pelvis separates and widens during childbirth. My doctor says it ...more
After months of back pain, I finally turned myself into the doctor for help. All the medical tests were negative, so I was tested by a team of rehab specialists. They felt I would benefit more from ps ...more
After months of sciatic pain, I finally caved and had surgery. My surgeon assured me that this is not uncommon, but I still felt like a failure. How often do patients give up on therapy and go for the ...more
After I had my hip replaced, I noticed that my back stopped aching. Is it just a coincidence or is there some connection?
After hurting my back in a car accident, I was given a booklet with helpful tips on lifting, sleeping positions, and exercise. Even after carefully following all of these instructions, I still have ba ...more
After hurting my back I had some special testing done. The tests showed there is weakness of the muscles on one side of my spine. It's the same side I have pain on. Did I hurt my back because I have t ...more
After hurting my back at work I switched jobs. Now I'm not doing as much heavy lifting and I feel much better. Is this just all in my head or does it really make a difference?
After having two back injuries, I've been sent to physical therapy. The therapist is going to teach me how to find my "neutral spine position." What is this and how's it done?
After having three bouts of back pain in two months, I went to see a physical therapist. The exercises I'm supposed to do just make my back hurt more. Should I stop doing them?
After a back injury some time ago I notice that I can do everything I once used to do, but I'm much slower at it. Do you think it really matters how fast I walk or move about?
About six weeks ago I hurt my back and had to see a physical therapist. In the first week my pain went way down. By the second week I was back on the job. The exercises seemed to help, but how long sh ...more
About six months ago, I started having low back pain. No one knows what caused it. I saw a physical therapist and that was helpful. But I still have back pain. I went to see a different therapist this ...more
A spine specialist told me I have two herniated discs, and that a piece of disc broke off and is floating around in my spinal canal. Is it possible to avoid having surgery with a loose fragment like t ...more
A smoker for 25 years, I'm having a hard time quitting before my lumbar fusion surgery in six weeks. Are the benefits worth the effort it is taking me to stop smoking?
A friend of mine at work has suggested I try an intense training program he went through in order to get back to work after a long bout of low back pain. Our insurance doesn't cover it. He assures me ...more
A few of my employees recently hurt their backs on the job and are collecting workers' comp. Should I expect that they'll come back to work?