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How to Conquer Lower Back Pain Forever

Best Life Logo Best Life | Slide 1 of 8: <p> If you're human, you're almost guaranteed to suffer from lower back pain at some point in your life. Here's how to treat it—and extinguish it—forever. —Ari Notis</p><p>It all starts with a pang at the base of your spine.</p><p>Maybe you were squatting too much weight at the gym. Maybe you were moving your sofa. Or maybe it was something that grew out two decades of hunching over your desk at work. Whatever the case, you’ve got it: the dreaded “lower back pain.”</p><p>You certainly wouldn’t be alone. Today, in fact, some form of back pain is the number two reason that drives Americans to seek health care—right behind the common cold. According to <a href="http://www.mountsinai.org/profiles/samuel-k-cho">Dr. Samuel K. Cho, MD</a>, associate professor of orthopedics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, up to 80 percent of patients suffer from some form of back pain during their lifetime. Likewise, the <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2982879/">NIH reported</a> that “one-quarter of adults have at least one day of lower back pain in a three month period.” And it’s not just old fogies throwing out their backs, either. According to data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the number of emergency room admittances for back pain is <a href="https://www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/reports/statbriefs/sb105.pdf">similar for both</a> the 18–44-year-old age group and the 45–64-year-old one.</p><p>There are two main forms of lower back pain: acute and chronic. Acute pain is defined by a sharp, severe, sudden onset. You got in a car accident, fell down the stairs, or “threw out your back” lifting something. But for all the misery you feel, acute LBP can often be healed with Advil, ice, and sufficient rest.</p><p>“Chronic low back pain is the real bugaboo,” says <a href="http://www.jefferson.edu/university/jmc/departments/neurosurgery/faculty/jallo.html">Dr. Jack Jallo</a>, MD, PhD, a spine surgeon and a professor of neurosurgery at Thomas Jefferson University. “It’s very difficult to manage.”</p><p>Chronic LBP comes around, again and again, like a fly to a picnic table. Only instead of simply making your turkey sandwich less appetizing, this fly makes it tough to get out of bed in the morning—and, instead of bothering you for 20 minutes, it bothers you for 20 years. “Unfortunately, there’s not a machine that we can put you in that will tell you where your back pain is coming from,” says Jallo. “It’s one of the dilemmas of managing back pain.”</p><p>Of course, the easiest fix for LBP is to avoid it in the first place by staying fit, active, and not sitting too much. But if you’re among the unlucky 80 percent of humankind who does suffer from a "bad back," here’s exactly what you need to know to face and conquer it. And while you’re at it, be sure to check out these <a href="http://www.bestlifeonline.com/best-exercises-strengthen-back-make-your-back-stronger">5 best exercises to eliminate back pain for good</a>.</p>

How to Conquer Lower Back Pain Forever

If you're human, you're almost guaranteed to suffer from lower back pain at some point in your life. Here's how to treat it—and extinguish it—forever. —Ari Notis

It all starts with a pang at the base of your spine.

Maybe you were squatting too much weight at the gym. Maybe you were moving your sofa. Or maybe it was something that grew out two decades of hunching over your desk at work. Whatever the case, you’ve got it: the dreaded “lower back pain.”

You certainly wouldn’t be alone. Today, in fact, some form of back pain is the number two reason that drives Americans to seek health care—right behind the common cold. According to Dr. Samuel K. Cho, MD, associate professor of orthopedics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, up to 80 percent of patients suffer from some form of back pain during their lifetime. Likewise, the NIH reported that “one-quarter of adults have at least one day of lower back pain in a three month period.” And it’s not just old fogies throwing out their backs, either. According to data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the number of emergency room admittances for back pain is similar for both the 18–44-year-old age group and the 45–64-year-old one.

There are two main forms of lower back pain: acute and chronic. Acute pain is defined by a sharp, severe, sudden onset. You got in a car accident, fell down the stairs, or “threw out your back” lifting something. But for all the misery you feel, acute LBP can often be healed with Advil, ice, and sufficient rest.

“Chronic low back pain is the real bugaboo,” says Dr. Jack Jallo, MD, PhD, a spine surgeon and a professor of neurosurgery at Thomas Jefferson University. “It’s very difficult to manage.”

Chronic LBP comes around, again and again, like a fly to a picnic table. Only instead of simply making your turkey sandwich less appetizing, this fly makes it tough to get out of bed in the morning—and, instead of bothering you for 20 minutes, it bothers you for 20 years. “Unfortunately, there’s not a machine that we can put you in that will tell you where your back pain is coming from,” says Jallo. “It’s one of the dilemmas of managing back pain.”

Of course, the easiest fix for LBP is to avoid it in the first place by staying fit, active, and not sitting too much. But if you’re among the unlucky 80 percent of humankind who does suffer from a "bad back," here’s exactly what you need to know to face and conquer it. And while you’re at it, be sure to check out these 5 best exercises to eliminate back pain for good.

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