Blog | Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Have you ever had back pain?

Yes, you have. Unless you’re a real statistical outlier, all of us have had (or will get) back pain at some point in our adult lives.

It’s annoying. It hurts. It makes us feel vulnerable. Back pain can mean many things to us:
• a harbinger of serious illness
• a predictor of disability
• a reminder that we’re getting older

There are a couple of key facts you should know about “garden variety” back pain, the kind that 95% of us get.

Of the 95% of us that will get it, 95% of it will be self-limited, as in, it will get better on its own. No need for X-rays. No need for MRIs. And for God’s sake, avoid surgery for low back pain.

There are things you can do to improve back pain, and prevent it from recurring (core strengthening, physical therapy, etc.).

As he’s done with his masterful video about the importance of (at least minimal) exercise, preventive medicine expert Dr. Mike Evans of Toronto (@docmikeevans) has done it again, this time for a scourge common to all of us. Watch the video below when you want to learn what the science really tells us about back pain.

It will change the way you think about your back pain. And hopefully get you working on a ’back resilience plan.

This post by John H. Schumann, MD, FACP, originally appeared at GlassHospital. Dr. Schumann is a general internist. His blog, GlassHospital, seeks to bring transparency to medical practice and to improve the patient experience.