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Loren Fishman, MD

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The 10 Commandments of Back Pain

Posted: 05/10/11 08:14 AM ET

Twenty years of treating people whose backs ache, trying to help thousands find its cause and deal with its crippling challenges, I have developed my own set of ideas for what to do when your back hurts, when you have a pain in the butt or when nasty sensations radiate down your leg.

While some physicians think back problems are mostly psychological, I believe in a practical, diagnosis-based approach. To avoid back pain Hell and wandering from clinician to clinician, these are the rules to follow.

You Will Get Back Pain
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Like the common cold, back pain will hit you at some point another, so don't panic. According to the National Institutes of Health, in a 3-month period, about one-fourth of U.S. adults experience at least one day of back pain.

It is one of our society's most common medical problems. My patients over 40 are more likely to have back pain than the younger ones and those who weigh more are at more risk than thinner ones. Cigarette smoking, excessive consumption of carbonated beverages, jobs that involve lifting heavy objects, being sedentary or exercising too much -- all these are risk factors.
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