Your spine is a column of more than 30 bones (vertebrae) held together by muscles, tendons and ligaments and cushioned by shock-absorbing disks. A problem in any part of your spine can cause back pain. For some people, back pain is simply an annoyance. For others, it can be both excruciating and disabling.

Most back pain — even severe back pain — goes away on its own in two to four weeks. Surgery is rarely needed for back pain and is generally considered only as a last resort.

Sep. 11, 2012