Chances are you know back pain all too well. It's the dull, constant ache in the lower back or the sudden painful twinge below the shoulder. It lasts for an hour, a day, or several weeks. Back pain, in its many forms, is one of the most common medical problems in the United States; it affects more than 80 percent of Americans at some point in their lives.

Because of its broad range of effects, back pain can severely disrupt your quality of life by limiting your ability to work, exercise, or just move around. It's no wonder millions of Americans go to the doctor each year asking for help dealing with back pain.