Back pain does not discriminate. It can strike anyone, at any time. It is estimated that 75-80% of Americans will have back problems costing the nation some $42 BILLION a year in lost revenue, tax loss, medical bills, unnecessary surgery and whatnot.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that back pain is the single most common repetitive stress injury in the workplace. According to BLS, back injuries account one of every five injuries and illnesses in the workplace. Back pain accounts for more than 100 million lost work days each year. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons reports that four out of five adults will experience lower back pain sometime during their life.

I REALLY hate back-pain.

I reviewed some one hundred case studies related in informal literature and in formal medical journal reports as well as interviews with three chiropractors, a couple holistic medicine specialists and a couple acupuncturists. I review personal cases on a continuous basis. I have worked eight plus years in a variety of primary care settings, and have substantial formal education in human anatomy.

The information related here remains, notwithstanding the numbers, summative, anecdotal and without the rigors of proper scientific analysis. Please, therefore, take this information with a mild scepticism to be reinforced by additional inquiry. In other words, ask yer doctor, fellow Dummies. A list of references consulted appears at the end of this white paper. Figures are from the original Gray's Anatomy.

Scope

This paper limits itself to anecdotal examination of symptoms and treatments for Level I and II Lumbar-Sacral Strain with brief mention of minor intraspinal disk problems. The purpose is to educate the public about back strains: their importance, the available treatments -- both professional and self-help -- and methods of recovery. Entire books have been written on the subject and this space allows for only a summary examination offered to the non-medical layperson as a take-off point for further inquiry.

Because of similarities and essential differences that help understand L-S injuries, references are made to cervical issues.


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