My physical therapist told me today "hurt doesn't equal harm." He was referring to the increased back pain I was having during PT treatment. Is this really true?

More is known today than ever before about low back pain. Studies show over and over that not all back pain is physical. There's a strong psychologic, behavioral, and social side to back pain.

The most common type of acute low back pain is called mechanical back pain. This means the moving parts are inflamed or involved but there's no known disease or visible change in the tissue. Movement and staying active are the best way to treat this type of back pain.

Back pain from a disc problem may increase with certain activities and exercise. A general guide is called centralization of pain. This means the pain increases in the low back area but doesn't go into the buttocks or down the leg. The activity or movement may cause increased pain but no further damage is done to the disc area.