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I am a science writer, former massage therapist, and I was the assistant editor at ScienceBasedMedicine.org for several years. I have had my share of injuries and pain challenges as a runner and ultimate player. My wife and I live in downtown Vancouver, Canada. See my full bio and qualifications, or my blog, Writerly. You might run into me on Facebook or Twitter.

Sleeping: Individual needs vary. If the mattress is too soft, many people will experience backaches. The same is true for sleeping on a hard mattress. Trial and error may be required. A piece of plywood between the box spring and mattress will stiffen a soft bed. A thick mattress pad will help soften a mattress that is too hard.

Whether you choose a full-seat back cushion or a smaller back support, always ensure the material is flush against the small of your back. The support shouldn’t be pressing into your sides or pinching any nerves, as this can cause more damage over time.

Sit back and relax! This ultra-comfortable backrest pillow provides firm support where you want it most. This pillow with arms is great for reading in bed, watching TV, knitting or lounging! Filled with dense foam that doesn’t lose its … more

The magnitude of the burden from low 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, with only ischemic heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease ranking higher.

Hexenschuss is a German word for back spasm or lumbago, but translated literally it means shot by the witch (hexe = witch and Schuss = shot). Those Germans have a word for everything! Hat tip to reader Richard Moison for teaching it to me. BACK TO TEXT

Now you can kick back and relax anywhere with this comfortable and supportive Pillow. This Pillow provides back and head support that is perfect for many activities such as reading, watching TV or playing video games. Stuffed with a super loft recycled polyester fiber fill, these pillows zippered slipcover is woven from Cotton twill. Hand wash slipcover with mild detergent and line dry.

Lower back pain is a common cause for visits to the doctor. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), low back pain is the most common cause of job-related disability. At least 80 percent of Americans will… Read More

Get sufficient high-quality, animal-based omega-3 fats. Omega-3 fats are precursors to mediators of inflammation called prostaglandins. One of the best sources of omega-3s is krill oil supplement. The omega-3 fats EPA and DHA contained in krill oil have been found in many animal and clinical studies to have anti-inflammatory properties. Unlike fish oil, krill oil does not pose any toxicity and rancidity to your body, which may only damage your health. It is also far lower on the food chain, making it far less likely to accumulate environmental chemicals and toxins.

Myelogram is an X-ray study in which a radio-opaque dye is injected directly into the spinal canal. Its use has decreased dramatically since MRI scanning. A myelogram now is usually done in conjunction with a CT scan and, even then, only in special situations when surgery is being planned.

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A form of radiculopathy, sciatica causes sharp and burning lower back pain, accompanied by pain through the buttocks and down one leg — Occasionally even reaching the foot. These symptoms occur because the sciatic nerve is compressed and nerve signaling is being interrupted. Vertebral fractures, herniated discs, tumors and cysts may all incite sciatica.

However, many people are uncomfortable sleeping on their back or find it causes them to snore. Everyone sleeps differently, so there is a variety of options for people who want to sleep better and reduce their back pain.

Initial treatment is similar to sudden-onset (acute) attacks. That is, aim to keep as active as possible. Also, painkillers can help. In addition to the painkillers listed above, your doctor may advise a course of an antidepressant medicine in the tricyclic group – for example, amitriptyline. Tricyclic antidepressants have other actions separate to their action on depression. They are used in a variety of painful conditions, including back pain.

Complaints of low back pain are one of the most common reasons people visit doctors.[9][41] For pain that has lasted only a few weeks, the pain is likely to subside on its own.[42] Thus, if a person’s medical history and physical examination do not suggest a specific disease as the cause, medical societies advise against imaging tests such as X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs.[41] Individuals may want such tests but, unless red flags are present,[10][43] they are unnecessary health care.[9][42] Routine imaging increases costs, is associated with higher rates of surgery with no overall benefit,[44][45] and the radiation used may be harmful to one’s health.[44] Fewer than 1% of imaging tests identify the cause of the problem.[9] Imaging may also detect harmless abnormalities, encouraging people to request further unnecessary testing or to worry.[9] Even so, MRI scans of the lumbar region increased by more than 300% among United States Medicare beneficiaries from 1994 to 2006.[11]

If you are suffering from any of the symptoms listed above, it’s time to take control of your lower back pain. Begin keeping a pain journal and documenting the activities or situations that trigger your irritation, as well as steps you take to relieve it. This information will help you and your doctor identify the cause and severity of your lower back pain. The most frequent factors contributing to lower back pain are:

^ Jump up to: a b Chou, R; Shekelle, P (2010). Will this patient develop persistent disabling low back pain?. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association. 303 (13): 1295–302. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.344. PMID 20371789.

2011 — Minor Update: Added evidence that spinal fusion surgeries are not just ineffective but often harmful (Nguyen). [Section: The back surgery placebo problem, and how it limits our knowledge of the effectiveness of back surgeries.]

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.

At Minimally Invasive SpineCARE®, our team of acclaimed spine and pain management specialists creates customized treatment plans to fit your individual needs and preferences. We offer many state-of-the-art procedures designed to accurately diagnose the underlying cause behind your lower back pain, so that you can feel better faster.

Fenety PA, Putnam C, Walker JM. In-chair movement: validity, reliability and implications for measuring sitting discomfort. Appl Ergon. 2000;31:383–393. doi: 10.1016/S0003-6870(00)00003-X. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]

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