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iVillage.com: The Biggest Health Trends of 2013

More Back Pain Specialists and Treatment Options

It’s estimated that 31 million people in the United States are currently experiencing back pain, costing about $91 million dollars a year in lost wages, as well as steroid injections, expensive and often unnecessary MRI scans and surgeries. And those numbers are projected to grow tremendously in the next 10 to 20 years, putting more strain on the medical system.

Expect to see a rise in the number of back pain specialists and treatment choices available this year as more chiropractors, osteopaths and occupational therapists offer alternative options for managing and preventing back pain beyond prescription drugs and injections.

With more being diagnosed with conditions such as degenerative disc disease, arthritis, herniated discs, bone spurs and spinal stenosis, the need for new and improved treatment options for back pain will grow in 2013, says Yoav Suprun, DPT, a McKenzie physical therapist specializing in back pain treatment and prevention at Sobe Spine in Miami Beach. The old recommendations of passive treatments such as bed rest, hot or cold packs, electrical stimulation or ultrasound for back pain have been proven to be mostly ineffective. Steroid injections may offer temporary relief, but the pain often returns within weeks. Active care such as therapeutic exercises, stabilization exercises, mobilization and manipulation has been proven to be superior treatments and are now part of back-care guidelines worldwide, says Suprun. Two suggestions you're likely to hear to help prevent, reduce or even eliminate back pain: Maintain proper posture while seated at the computer and lift objects properly (feet wide apart, bend at the knees not the waist, and lift the object close to your body).

(CREDIT: Peter Dazeley/Photographer’s Choice/Getty Images)
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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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