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How to Treat Back Pain

Whether your back pain and backache are new or chronic, it's time to feel better. Find the best treatment that'll bring you back pain relief.

By Janis Graham

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What Won't Help Sudden Back Pain

Avoid the following pain management methods; they won't be effective in relieving your back pain:

Overdoing exercise. Wait until you're healed to start any new back strengthening and stretching routine. According to the Finnish study, adults who did back-specific exercises in the first weeks of being injured had six more days of pain than those who simply stuck to their normal movement patterns.

Using heat at first. Wearable heat wraps and heating pads increase blood flow to the area, which can amp up inflammation and soreness in the first two days. But in subsequent days, when swelling subsides, heat may soothe tense muscles, reduce pain and increase your range of motion.

Relying on pain-relieving creams. The warmth they generate may feel good to you, but there's no evidence they actually help healing, says Jack Stern, M.D., a New York City neurosurgeon who specializes in treating back pain.

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