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How to Avoid Pains in the Back

Dr. Marlís González-Fernández, medical director of the outpatient physical medicine and rehabilitation clinics at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, offers advice for back pain prevention.

Dr. Marlís González-Fernández

Special to Tribune Newspapers

January 4, 2010

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Almost everyone will experience back pain at some point in life. In fact, back pain is one of the most common nervous-system complaints, second only to headaches. According to the National Institute of Neurologic Disease and Stroke, low back pain is one of the top causes of missed workdays, and its treatment costs about $50 billion each year.

Dr. MarlIs Gonzalez-Fernandez, assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the medical director of the outpatient physical medicine and rehabilitation clinics at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, has some advice for back pain prevention:


Most cases of low back pain can be managed with the use of over-the-counter analgesics or anti-inflammatories, and they can be resolved without long-term effects. A physician should evaluate back pain that does not fade within three days.