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May 2005
The NIH news in Health  

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, Ph.D., Writer/Editor
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Richard Currey, Alison Davis, Ph.D.

Illustration, Your Aching Back.

Your Aching Back
Searching for Better Pain Relief
If warmer spring weather lures you outside for heavy yard work, now's a good time to learn about how to prevent and treat low back pain. Four out of every five people have had low back pain at one time or another. With symptoms ranging from a dull ache to absolute agony, low back pain can put your life on hold. In fact, it's second only to the common cold in causing missed work days for adults under age 45.

Most low back pain clears up in a few days or weeks with a combination of rest, appropriate exercise, and over-the-counter pain medicines. But pain that persists for more than three months-chronic back pain-is more difficult to treat, in part because there are many different possible causes.

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