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These assessments help determine where the pain comes from, how much you can move before pain forces you to stop and whether you have muscle spasms. They will also help rule out more-serious causes of back pain.

Astaxanthin – This is one of the most effective oil-soluble antioxidants known to man today. Astaxanthin has very potent anti-inflammatory properties. In some cases, it may even be more effective than NSAIDs. You may need to take high doses of this antioxidant (as much as eight milligrams a day), though, to achieve this benefit.

Twisting or lifting a heavy load the wrong way can sprain or strain the muscles and ligaments in the back, causing acute back pain. In addition, the cushiony discs between the backbones, or vertebrae, tend to disintegrate with age, reducing how much shock absorption they can provide, though doctors don’t agree on how much this causes back pain. [Infographic: Diagram of the Skeletal System]

How long back pain lasts depends on its cause. For example, if your pain is caused by strain from overexertion, symptoms usually subside over days or weeks and you may be able to return gradually to your normal activities. However, you should avoid heavy lifting, prolonged sitting or sudden bending or twisting until your back gets better.

Bone scans are used to detect and monitor infection, fracture, or disorders in the bone. A small amount of radioactive material is injected into the bloodstream and will collect in the bones, particularly in areas with some abnormality. Scanner-generated images can be used to identify specific areas of irregular bone metabolism or abnormal blood flow, as well as to measure levels of joint disease.

Jump up ^ Shiri R, Karppinen J, Leino-Arjas P, Solovieva S, Viikari-Juntura E (January 2010). The association between smoking and low back pain: a meta-analysis. The American Journal of Medicine. 123 (1): 87.e7–35. doi:10.1016/j.amjmed.2009.05.028. PMID 20102998.

Bending your back initially is unavoidable, but when you bend your back try not to stoop or squat, and be sure to tighten your stomach muscles so that your pelvis is pulled in. Most important, do not straighten your legs before lifting; otherwise you will be using your back for most of the work.

Tia has interned at Science News,, and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and has written for the Center for Investigative Reporting, Scientific American, and ScienceNow. She has a master’s degree in bioengineering from the University of Washington and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California Santa Cruz.

^ Jump up to: a b c Stockwell, Serena (2017-05-01). New Clinical Guideline for Low Back Pain Says Try Nondrug Therapies First. AJN, American Journal of Nursing. 117 (5). doi:10.1097/01.naj.0000516263.01592.38. ISSN 0002-936X.

NINDS health-related material is provided for information purposes only and does not necessarily represent endorsement by or an official position of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke or any other Federal agency. Advice on the treatment or care of an individual patient should be obtained through consultation with a physician who has examined that patient or is familiar with that patient’s medical history.

If you suffer from back pain, or simply wish to avoid it, one of the first things you can do is invest in a lumbar support. A lumbar support helps improve your posture and keep you back aligned throughout the day.

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No specific back exercises were found that improved pain or increased functional ability in people with acute back pain. Exercise, however, may be useful for people with chronic back pain to help them return to normal activities and work. These exercises usually involve stretching maneuvers.

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Approximately 98 percent of people with back pain are diagnosed with nonspecific acute back pain in which there is no serious underlying pathology.[12] Nearly 2 percent are comprised by metastatic cancers, while serious infections such as spinal osteomyelitis and epidural abscesses account for fewer than 1 percent.[13]

Kovacs, F. M., Abraira, V., Peña, A., Martín-Rodríguez, J. G., Sánchez-Vera, M., Ferrer, E., … Mufraggi, N. (2003, November 15). Effect of firmness of mattress on chronic non-specific low-back pain: Randomised, double-blind, controlled, multicentre trial [Abstract]. Lancet, 362(9396), 1599–1604. Retrieved from

It is important to stay away from poor quality lumbar supports. A bad lumbar cushion can actually do far more damage than good, even if you don’t suffer from pre-existing back problems. If your lumbar support is poorly shaped or made with low quality materials, it will not offer the support you need, and also won’t last long.

Add a special lumbar cushion to your car to help you stay comfortable and avoid back cramping while driving. This is especially helpful if you plan on taking a long trip or if your daily commute is fairly long. Concentrate on your work and get more done during the work day with an easy to set up lumbar support cushion. You can find the perfect lumbar support cushion; one that molds to your shape, like a memory foam the dusty trails of the Southwest, where native tribes sculpt, weave, and polish nature’s raw elements into exquisite art. Ou…r Turquoise Chamarro set takes you through the thrilling vistas of red rock country; colors are inspired by red monoliths,… read more

Quit smoking. Smoking reduces blood flow to the lower spine, which can contribute to spinal disc degeneration. Smoking also increases the risk of osteoporosis and impedes healing. Coughing due to heavy smoking also may cause back pain.

Jump up ^ Urrútia G, Burton K, Morral A, Bonfill X, Zanoli G (March 2005). Neuroreflexotherapy for nonspecific low back pain: a systematic review. Spine. 30 (6): E148–53. doi:10.1097/01.brs.0000155575.85223.14. PMID 15770167.

Disclaimer: This content should not be considered complete and should not be used in place of a call or visit to a health professional. Use of this content is subject to specific Terms of Use & Medical Disclaimers.

A good lumbar support should also be portable, because most people require this product in more than one situation in their day to day life. The product should also be made with good materials, so your lumbar support is both comfortable and durable.

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