When people first hear that their back pain isn’t caused by a damaged spine, they may be relieved. But others are unhappy, and even angry. Being told that their level of pain is caused by stress leads some to misinterpret this as being told, “It’s all in your head. You are causing this pain, or faking it, or imagining it.” And that feels very invalidating. Let’s face it; it’s much easier to believe that we’re injured than it is to believe that we have an emotional problem! Our society doesn’t help this common attitude at all. We are taught from childhood on to believe that physical illness or injury is outside our control, while emotional issues are a sign of weakness. This is especially true if you are suffering, but nothing shows up on your tests. Then you are apt to be told that your pain is “all in your head.” In Back Sense , the authors explain:
While there are many over-the-counter pain medications used to address back pain, the two most common types are acetaminophen (for example, brand name Tylenol) and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs (for example, brand name Advil). Because acetaminophen and NSAIDs work differently to address the pain, they may be taken at the same time. For example, a patient in severe pain may take the recommended dose of acetaminophen, and then two to three hours later take the recommended dose of ibuprofen, and repeat this pattern as appropriate.
Back pain is regularly cited by national governments as having a major impact on productivity , through loss of workers on sick leave . Some national governments, notably Australia and the United Kingdom , have launched campaigns of public health awareness to help combat the problem, for example the Health and Safety Executive 's Better Backs campaign. In the United States lower back pain's economic impact reveals that it is the number one reason for individuals under the age of 45 to limit their activity, second highest complaint seen in physician's offices, fifth most common requirement for hospitalization, and the third leading cause for surgery. [ citation needed ]