On (Back) Pain

I recently came across two articles that were relevant given that lower back pain has been one feature of my post-marathon suffering (not much progress on that front, by the way). Jonah Lehrer, author of How We Decide, has an article which discusses research showing that the solution to back pain is often psychological rather than physical. An entry yesterday in the New York Times Well blog came at the back pain problem from a slightly different angle. Scans For Back Pain Ineffective addresses research showing that scanning (x-rays/MRIs/CT scans) to find the source of back pain are often ineffective because those interpreting results often fail to account for the normal effects of aging and time. Both are worth a read.

I did laugh at this quote from the Lehrer article:
Chronic stress is another important risk factor for chronic pain. One back surgeon, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of offending his patients, said that he's seen several men develop lower back pain shortly after getting engaged. "Weddings are stressors," he says, "and that stress can exacerbate the experience of pain.

And that, of course, reminded me of this very funny video (thanks, Bob & Sara!):

If you can't see the video, you can find it here.

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