May 15, 2013



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    How to Manage Back Pain: Self-Care, Prevention, and Treatment Options

    Four out of every five adults will experience back or neck pain at some point in their lives, and many will contend with repeated episodes of debilitating lower back pain on and off - sometimes for years.

    If you're reading this letter, it's likely that you or a loved one is suffering from back pain - and probably not for the first time.

    Knowing that you've got plenty of company probably doesn't make you feel any better. But knowing the most current insights on back pain - its causes and how to treat it - will.

    That's why we asked Drs. Swartzberg and Pereira to share their expertise in a new Special Report, How to Manage Back Pain: Self-Care, Prevention, and Treatment Options. Dr. Swartzberg, the Chair of the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter, has had hands-on experience with patients just like you during his many years as a primary care physician. Dr. Pereira, Associate Chair of the Wellness Letter, is a board certified specialist in occupational medicine, with over 30 years of clinical experience.

    In How to Manage Back Pain, they take a close look at back and neck pain... examine many of the prevailing misconceptions about it... and focus on evidence-based strategies for finding the right diagnosis and treatment to bring relief to your specific, individual problem. They help you look at all your choices with mainstream medicine, alternative therapies and preventive strategies. And when surgery is appropriate, they discuss your options.

    Back pain is not in itself a diagnosis:
    It's a symptom of an underlying problem.

    How to Manage Back Pain is much more than a basic primer. We get to the heart of your concerns about living with chronic pain and provide the latest findings from the world of research -- many are quite surprising.

    For example, did you know?

    • Experts now agree that MRI scans are unnecessary for most people with low back pain and may in fact lead to more harm than good... See page 11
    • Weekly massages give more effective short-term relief to chronic back pain sufferers than standard medical therapies alone... See page 22
    • Spinal manipulation - which involves methodical repositioning of the head, shoulders, neck and back -- can provide relief from back pain for some people, but you should observe these seven precautions... See page 29
    • Obtaining a precise diagnosis is difficult because doctors don't understand the reasons for back pain in most people -- hence the diagnosis of "nonspecific" low back pain... See page 10
    • Fewer than half of all people who undergo back surgery report "excellent" or even "good" results in terms of pain relief. What two key questions should you ask before considering surgery?... See page 47
    • The "Alexander Technique" - a technique of improving posture, flexibility and reducing muscle tension - is now believed to be an effective treatment for those with low back pain... See page 42
    • Emotional stress has been linked to a greater likelihood of both developing back pain and experiencing a slow recovery. These four stress-relaxation techniques can help you consciously release muscle tension... See page 36
    • Patients who received acupuncture for back pain were more likely to experience greater improvement after six months than those who received conventional treatment... See page 33

    How to Manage Back Pain explores these and other insights on back pain. It explains the medical conditions that can be the sources of back pain, including strains, sprains, degenerative changers, herniated disc, bone spurs, vertebral compression fractures, spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, vascular claudication, spinal deformities, sciatica and cauda equina syndrome.

    How to handle a "back attack"

    While it's true that back pain often comes on suddenly, factors leading up to an episode are often cumulative and gradual. Poor posture, obesity, weakened muscles, stress and normal aging can set the stage for a flare-up.

    What to do? For many of us, self-care measures are all that's needed. In How to Manage Back Pain, Drs. Swartzberg and Pereira review the latest self-care and medical recommendations you can try to alleviate a back pain flare up.

    Resting to take the stress off your spine is step number one... but there are other things you can-and should-do. How to Manage Back Pain explores the latest thinking on aquatic exercises... heat and/or ice... OTC pain relievers... exercise... massage.

    The chapter Medical Treatment for Back Pain discusses more aggressive therapies you can try when self-care proves insufficient. You'll learn:

    • How prescription medications work in the body to relieve pain-and, if you use these medications often, how to use them safely to avoid such potential problems as gastrointestinal bleeding and kidney damage
    • What is involved in spinal injection therapy, and what you need to consider before opting for this mode of back pain management
    • The risks and benefits of spinal injection therapy, electrical stimulation, traction, corsets, braces and belts

    Complementary therapies -
    When conventional therapies just don't seem to do the trick

    It's quite common for frustrated back pain sufferers to seek out and experiment with so-called complementary or alternative treatments. Though researchers have questioned their value, some people find these approaches useful for managing or relieving pain and helping them to resume their normal activities.

    You'll read in-depth analyses - including data from recent research studies - on:

    • Acupuncture
    • Acupressure
    • Rolfing
    • Biofeedback
    • Chiropractic therapy
    • Stress reduction exercises - breathing, medication, exercise
    • Yoga

    And if you decide to consult a chiropractor (up to 10 percent of Americans go at least occasionally), you can prepare for the range of treatments you may encounter with our mini-guide called "Chiropractic Precautions."

    There's more to How to Manage Back Pain... much more.

    • Surgery for back pain. According to the NIH, there are two groups of people with back pain that make good candidates for surgical treatment: those with chronic low back pain and sciatica... and those with degenerative disc disease. If you're a candidate for surgery, you'll want to read our chapter on the latest surgical procedures, including discectomy, microdiscectomy, percutaneous vertebroplasty, spinal cord stimulation therapy and kyphoplasty.
    • What to do about neck pain. Like low back pain, neck pain is a leading cause of absenteeism from work. Whether the cause is cervical radiculopathy or "pinched" nerve, whiplash, repetitive work or poor posture, our neck pain prevention tips can help you relieve the pain and prevent it from worsening.
    • Ask the expert. In this section of the report, Dr. Pereira talks in detail about his own experiences with back pain - from both a physician's and a patient's perspective.

    Current, Accurate and Trustworthy
    The University of California, Berkeley Promise

    One of the most respected educational institutions in the world, the University of California, Berkeley has, for over a century, built an extraordinary record of achievement. Its faculty has produced 21 Nobel laureates, 5 Pulitzer Prize winners, 135 appointees to the National Academy of Sciences and 30 winners of the National Medal of Science.

    For more than 60 years, the School of Public Health at UC Berkeley has helped promote and protect the health of Americans. It is one of the nation's leading research and teaching institutions in the field of public health. Its internationally renowned faculty includes physicians, educators, nutrition experts, epidemiologists and other public health professionals. Among its areas of research are: the control of cancer, the relationship between diet and disease prevention, occupational health, the link between social support and good health, and environmental health.

    Still not sure you'll benefit from this Special Report?
    No problem. Our No-Strings, Can't-Lose, Must-Be-Satisfied Guarantee!

    How to Manage Back Pain: Self-Care, Prevention, and Treatment Options comes with a risk-free guarantee of satisfaction: if you're not satisfied for any reason, simply contact Customer Service for a prompt refund of your full purchase price of $24.95. So you risk nothing.

    Take the first step and place your risk-free order today. Download How to Manage Back Pain in minutes and begin to take charge of your pain today.

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