And the number of sufferers is expected to increase, especially in lower-income countries as people in rural areas move to urban centers and adopt more sedentary lives. So what can help them?
Some ibuprofen and maybe some physical therapy are all it takes to make most back pain go away. But a study finds that doctors and patients are increasingly turning to fancy scans and opioid painkillers. They typically don't help, and increase the risk of addiction and overdose.