Back Pain

CBD for chronic pain: The science doesn’t match the marketing

CBD, a non-psychoactive component in cannabis, is emerging as a promising pharmaceutical agent to treat pain and other conditions. Unfortunately, few studies in humans have examined its effectiveness, and the cannabis industry’s profit motive is driving a wave of dubious claims about what CBD can do.

5 ways to ease pain using the mind-body connection

Mind-body therapies can help you reframe awareness of pain, whether recent or chronic, and rethink your response to it. There are several different techniques, some of which involve guidance or working with a therapist; others require nothing but focus and a small amount of time.

Pain and neuromodulation: What’s all the “buzz” about?

Neuromodulation therapies use a targeted stimulus to help people manage pain. This can be in the form of an electrical stimulation device or a pump containing medication, either of which can be implanted in the body.

Straight talk on planking

Matthew Solan

Executive Editor, Harvard Men's Health Watch

Your core muscles are your body’s foundation, and the plank pose is a great exercise to do to help build core strength—it’s challenging but not complicated. Here’s everything you need to know to plank correctly.

I’m in pain, so why is my doctor suggesting a psychologist?

David Boyce, MD

Contributor

The negative emotions that come from coping with chronic pain can lead to depression, and that very depression can lead to worse pain. Understanding the connection between pain and emotional health with the help of a psychologist can address these issues, and there are evidence-based therapies that can help as well.

Should you see a chiropractor for low back pain?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Nearly everyone has experienced some sort of back pain, but unfortunately there is no single best treatment for it. Researchers seeking to evaluate the worth of chiropractic care as an option for back pain treatment studied military personnel, but the study did have some limitations.

What to do with that foam roller at the gym?

Steve Calechman

Contributor

While there is limited research on foam rollers, small studies suggest they may help with muscle and tissue tightness, sore muscles, and range of motion.

Stretching: Less pain, other gains

Stay flexible by adding simple stretches to your day and fitness routine. Stretching aids balance and posture, and helps prevent pain and injury.

Navigating back pain treatments: Can a physiatrist help?

Almost everyone experiences back pain at some point, but if the pain does not subside within a few weeks of standard treatment, or if chronic pain is an ongoing issue, a physiatrist may be able to provide relief or advise what next steps to take.

Yoga for people with back pain

Matthew Solan

Executive Editor, Harvard Men's Health Watch

Yoga helps many people alleviate their low back pain, but unfortunately doing yoga can also be the cause of back injuries, particularly in older people. Learning to do the movements properly and safely is essential, especially if you already have back pain.