The spine is a column of bones held together by muscles, tendons and ligaments. The spinal bones are cushioned by shock-absorbing disks. A problem in any part of the spine can cause back pain. For some people, back pain is simply an annoyance. For others, it can be excruciating and disabling.

Most back pain, even severe back pain, goes away on its own within six weeks ­— especially for people under age 60. Surgery usually isn't suggested for back pain. Generally, surgery is considered only if other treatments aren't effective.

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Sept. 17, 2022

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