An OhioHealth physician uses imaging to help guide lower-back pain treatment.

About 39% of U.S. adults — or around 100 million people — suffer from back pain. 

For them, the pain can be constant and crippling.  

Medical experts say movement, back exercises, over-the-counter medications and time eventually mediate or even eliminate the pain for the majority of sufferers. For about 16 million adults, however, the pain remains chronic.  

For many, surgery may end up as the only option to remedy spinal problems such as a herniated or compressed disc, but for those hoping to avoid it, other treatments exist, say experts.

“It’s an incredibly common problem, and it’s very important to work with a primary care provider to know when these next steps may be necessary,” said Dr. DanaMarie Aminian, a specialist in pain management at Mount Carmel St. Ann’s Hospital in Westerville.

Dr. DanaMarie Aminian, Mount Carmel Health System

Aminian and Dr. Caitlin Stuber, a pain management specialist at OhioHealth Physician Group, offered the following advice to patients suffering from back pain who aren’t ready for surgery.

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When is it time to pursue options beyond exercise?

The first steps to treat back pain are typically back exercises, movement and over-the-counter medications. If those fail to bring relief after eight to 12 weeks, it may be time to seek further medical help.


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