Back Pain

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.

Are you taking too much anti-inflammatory medication?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are widely used and generally safe, but they can cause problems, especially if the recommended dosage is exceeded. A new study found that a significant percentage of people were doing this, sometimes intentionally but not always.

What to do for stubborn low back pain

Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Contributing Editor

How does a doctor treat her own back pain? By following the same advice she gives her patients: alternating ice and heat, doing core exercises, applying topical remedies, and taking over-the-counter medication only if other therapies are not effective.

Lessons from a chronic pain management program

Laura Kiesel

Contributor

Comprehensive programs for chronic pain involve a variety of components, from body mechanics to nutrition to occupational therapy and beyond. And while there is no easy fix for chronic pain, and sometimes no permanent fix at all, unexpected victories can be made in the search for answers.

Taming the pain of sciatica: For most people, time heals and less is more

While not as common as other types of back pain, sciatica can cause intense discomfort, but often the best course of treatment involves controlling the pain and keeping active while the condition subsides.

Here’s something completely different for low back pain

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

With recently revised guidelines recommending that people with low back pain not take medication, it’s natural to wonder: what should I do, then? There are many options, among them heat, massage, yoga, and acupuncture.

Over-the-counter pain relievers and your heart

Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Contributing Editor

As the evidence mounts linking use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs with increased risk of heart failure or cardiac arrest, consumers need to be aware of the risks involved in taking these medications.

If you have low back pain try these steps first

Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Contributing Editor

The American College of Physicians has released revised guidelines for the treatment of low back pain, and their recommendations for the most common types of pain do not include medications.These forms of low back pain usually get better over time and treatment should begin with therapies like heat and massage.

Some medications don’t help back pain as much as we thought

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

With back pain affecting so many of us, it’s eye-opening that a new review of dozens of studies is reporting that many people who took NSAID medications did not feel any better, or felt only slightly better, after treatment.