Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Back Pain Health Center

Font Size

Massage May Be Best Approach for Back Pain


Cohen's advice on finding a good therapist for your back pain is the following:

  • Make sure the therapist is trained and experienced in dealing with your kind of problem. Ask about credentials and check them out. The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork offers a locator service for trained experts in your area. You can visit their web site at
  • Your therapist should ask you detailed questions about your injury and the location of the pain before starting therapy, in order to determine which therapy is best. "Someone might come to me and say my back hurts, but the reality is they did something in their arms or neck," says Cohen, "and the lower back pain is the referred pain."
  • A good therapist usually has a host of things to offer a back-pain sufferer. In addition to massage, Cohen offers stretching, muscle rotation, joint rotation, cross-fiber friction, and ice.
  • A massage therapist should know never to work on a swollen or inflamed area, as this can make the injury worse. Such an injury requires ice and rest before massage can be given.

If you suffer from back pain, here are some things you can try at home:

  • For a new injury, remember the acronym RICE. This stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
  • For ongoing back pain, back stretches are helpful. The key to these stretches is to move slowly, breath with each stretch, and keep your back fully supported. Often, the health care practitioner you are seeing for your back pain can teach you appropriate stretches. Yoga also offers good exercises.
  • Once you're moving again, keep moving. Walking and swimming are both good exercises for the back.
  • Always check out several other avenues before you consider surgery.

With reporting from David Flegel, MS

1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Today on WebMD

Woman holding lower back
Or is it another form of back pain?
Hand on back
See the myths vs. the facts.
Woman doing pilates
Good and bad exercises.
acupuncture needles in woman's back
Use it to manage your pain.
Man with enhanced spinal column, rear view
pain in brain and nerves
Chronic Pain Healtcheck
Health Check
break at desk
Woman holding lower back
Weight Loss Surgery
lumbar spine
back pain