Get the monkey off your back! How to treat back pain before it becomes chronic pain

Pain may be associated with an injury, a certain medical condition, or structural abnormalities such as a tumor, arthritis, or fracture. Some degrees of pain are normal, like discomfort during the healing process just after surgery or a healing bone fracture. However, chronic pain does not heal and may be present for months and even years.


Did you know?

  • Over 100 million Americans suffer with chronic pain. This is more than the number of Americans with diabetes, coronary arterial disease, stroke and cancer combined!
  • Pain costs America at least $560-$635 billion annually, which is equal to $2,000 for everyone living in America. This includes $297-$336 billion due to lost worker productivity.
  • Back pain is the leading cause of disability in Americans under age 45. More than 26 million Americans between ages of 20 and 64 experience frequent low back pain. 80% of adults experience low back pain at some point in their lifetimes.
  • 44 people die each day from prescription drug overdoses.


You have the power to get that monkey off your back and put a stop to chronic pain. Too often, dangerous and addictive medications or risky surgeries are presented to us to treat acute back pain when most may be treated with a more conservative and safe approach.


40-90% of patients will have complete relief of pain within six weeks by using these measures:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Rest
  • Physical therapy
  • Lifestyle adjustments: how you sit, lift, stand, day-to-day movements
  • Exercise just 30 minutes a day!
  • Weight and diet management
  • Spinal epidural and nerve block injection may be useful


For more information on the right exercises, diets and treatments for chronic pain, contact a physician who is Board Certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.


Submitted by:

Mandeep Othee, M.D.

Board Certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Board Certified in Pain Medicine