Caught in the Web

When Back Pain Attacks

by Laura Emery, Field Editor


You’re driving home and traffic is backed up for miles. You’re tired from a long day’s work, and you’re hungry. But what’s ailing you the most is the fact that your back is aching and no matter how many times you reposition yourself in your seat, the pain doesn’t go away. In fact, it seems to hurt even more.

You are not alone. Back pain is one of the most common medical problems, affecting eight out of 10 people at some point during their lives. Lower back pain is the second most common reason that Americans see their doctor, after colds and the flu.

More U.S. health-care dollars — an estimated $86 billion —- are spent treating back and neck pain than almost any other medical condition. Back pain can range from a dull, constant ache to a sudden, sharp pain. Acute back pain comes on suddenly and usually lasts from a few days to a few weeks. Chronic back pain lasts for more than three months.

Many people simply learn to suffer with the fleeting back pain — but, more often than not, simple changes in lifestyle, environment, and posture can help alleviate the pain and aches. This is where the Internet can be a valuable resource. Check out these Web sites for a wide range of information on all things relating to back pain.

Back Pain Central  

Here at WebMD, you can browse the Back Pain Health Center. This section is filled with links to articles and Web sites discussing the causes and cures for back pain. It also has links to back pain information in the news, support and resources, informational videos on dealing with back pain, and even a section where you can talk to others who are also experiencing different types of back pain.

This Web site will help you understand the causes and treatment of back pain.

The goal at is to provide visitors with a comprehensive, highly informative and useful resource for understanding, preventing, and seeking appropriate treatment for back and neck pain and related conditions. This site has been developed by a multi-specialty group of medical professionals. It is continually enhanced with new features, and bases its direction and future developments on visitor feedback. This Web site is worth visiting. is a great resource, and is filled with educational and informative articles on all things relating to back pain. Back pain is often a symptom of some other problem. This Web site will give you a better idea of how to pinpoint the causes for your unexplained back aches. Remember, it important to consult a medical professional if back pain persists.


Protecting Your Back at Work


Many people spend hours of their workday in front of a computer. Oftentimes, they are unknowingly sitting and working in a position that is unhealthy for the back vertebrae and muscles. Contrary to popular belief, sitting, which most people believe is relaxing, is hard on the back. Sitting for long periods of time can cause increased pressure on the intervertebral discs — the spongy discs between the vertebrae. Sitting is also hard on the feet and legs. This Web site will show you how to maintain good sitting posture and describes optimal back-friendly arrangements for your computer equipment.


Exercises for Back Pain

Weak muscles are often at the root of back pain, especially lower back pain. The muscles of the back, the abdomen, and the buttocks all support the spine. These muscles are called the core muscles. Muscles are the spine's main defense against gravity. Strengthening the muscles that support the spine with back exercises, abdominal exercises and buttocks exercises, can prevent, reduce and even eliminate back pain. On this Web site, you will find pages and pages of exercises to help avoid and alleviate back pain. Whether it’s “the cat,” “the cobra,” crunches or the chest stretch, you’re sure to find the perfect stretching exercise for your physical level. exercises_for_back_pain_yoga.shtml

Many people believe that rest is best for a painful back, but what your back really needs when it’s hurt is exercise. Regular exercise relieves back pain by strengthening and stretching the muscles that support the spine and helps to prevent future injury. This is a use-it-or-lose-it situation: the more you rest, the weaker your back gets, even if it is hurt. This Web site takes a thorough look at some of the best exercises for relieving back pain. Among the exercises is regular yoga practice. According to this site, studies have shown that yoga is the number-one most effective exercise for relieving back pain. However, not all yoga poses relieve back pain, and some can even aggravate existing pain, so it is important to know which poses will be most helpful in relieving back pain. Here, you will find a list of the best yoga exercises for reducing and avoiding back pain.  

According to this Web site, “Yoga, by its very nature, is well-suited to address back problems arising from postural misalignment conditions such as scoliosis and kyphosis, among others. As a whole body-movement system, yoga develops body awareness and places emphasis on alignment.” Articles on this Web site explain how to do yoga to help back pain. This site also features a “Yoga for Back Pain Awareness Quiz” to see how well you understand the poses and their effect on your back condition.  


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