Beating Back Pain

80% of us have suffered from back pain at one point or another, and anyone who has know how tough it can be treat.

Consumer Reports just surveyed more than 14,000 people who've suffered from lower-back pain to find out which treatments are the most helpful.

Dr. Richard Kowal is a chiropractor who's treated plenty of people suffering from back pain.

"They've either had it for a short time and it's very severe, or they've had a lower level of pa9in that they've been living with," said Kowal.

Alison Howlett is one of his patients. She came to him with sever lower-back-pain after a car accident.

"It affects your entire day, every movement, putting on your pants, brushing your teeth." said Howlett. "One of the hardest things for me is washing my face in the sink."

A Consumer Reports' survey shows that many people who visited a chiropractor were happy with the results.

"Almost 60% of those who tried chiropractic manipulation said it helped a lot. And about the same percentage of people were highly satisfied with their chiropractor," said Dr. Orly Avitzur of Consumer Reports.

Also rated very helpful in the survey were other hands-on therapies, like massage as well as physical therapy.

And these treatments were rated more helpful than over-the-counter or even prescription medication.

If nothing is working to relieve your pain, surgery is a consideration.

But how happy you are with the results will likely depend on your diagnosis. And always proceed with caution.

"More than 50% of respondents reported a problem with recovery from surgery, for example, finding it longer and more painful than they had expected. And 16% said their back pain didn't improve at all after surgery."

Finally, 44% of those surveyed found exercise helpful, making it the highest-rated self-help treatment.

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