Over the years, I've had back pain off and on. I've usually done too much gardening or lifted something wrong. What's the best way to treat this early on?
Back pain less than eight weeks after injury or damaging episode is called acute. When painful symptoms last beyond the expected time for healing (usually six to eight weeks), then it's called chronic back pain.
Many methods of treating the spine have been studied around the world. The results have been varied. Programs for acute versus chronic pain have been included. At this point, it's agreed that enough proof exists to support some form of exercise for the treatment of all back pain. It's still not clear what kind of exercise is best, when to do it, or how often.
A new study from Norway compared manual therapy with exercise therapy. Manual therapy is a form of treatment that manipulates or moves the spinal joints. Patients in the manual therapy group got twice the benefit of those in the exercise group. However, other researchers challenged this study. Clearly, more research is needed before a final answer to this question can be given.