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Back School for Low Back Pain

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Topic Overview

A back school is an educational program that teaches you practical information about back care, posture, body mechanics, back exercises, and how to prevent long-term back problems. Going to a back school gives you the tools for self-care, which may improve how well you manage low back pain.

Back school works only as well as you make it work by applying your back-care knowledge on a regular basis. Back school research has produced mixed results.

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What Kind of Back Problem Do You Have?

Unless you are totally immobilized from a back injury, your doctor probably will examine your range of motion and nerve function and touch your body to locate the area of discomfort. Blood and urine tests may be done to determine if the pain is caused by an infection or other systemic problem.   X-rays are useful in pinpointing broken bones or other skeletal defects. They can sometimes help locate problems in connective tissue. To analyze soft-tissue or disc damage, computed tomography (CT) or...

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  • Some studies have shown that back school can improve low back pain and speed recovery. Other studies have shown no benefit or mixed results.1, 2
  • One study suggests that back school is as effective as manual treatments for relieving some low back pain.3

Ask your health insurance provider or doctor for the name of a local back school. You may find a back school program in your nearest rehabilitation hospital or outpatient program. Or you may find a back school that is an independent clinic.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: February 15, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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