Quiz – Back On Track

If your back hurts but you’re not sure why, you’re not alone. Along with being one of the most common conditions that bring people to their doctor, it is also one in which the cause is not readily identifiable with tests or even imaging. Learn more by taking our quiz:

1. Back and neck pain can have several different causes, and often the exact cause is difficult to determine.

A. True
B. False

2. Managing back pain requires a rehabilitation program.

A. True
B. False
C. It depends

3. You may be able to alleviate acute back pain at home with ____.

A. Rest
B. Hot or cold packs
C. Stretching and flexing
D. Over-the-counter pain relief medication
E. All of the above


4. Back problems will give you either a dull or sharp pain, but not a burning or tingly sensation.

A. True
B. False


5. Which of the following makes no difference to whether someone is at risk for back pain?

A. Posture while standing or sitting
B. Emotional stress
C. Smoking
D. None of the above


1. A. True. Some of the most common causes are repetitive heavy lifting, trauma, and degeneration of the spine’s vertebrae. But a variety of other factors—such as obesity, abdominal problems, or infection—could also be a cause.

2. C. It depends. Acute pain lasts from a few days to a few weeks and doesn’t often require rehab, unless it is severe or disabling. Pain that remains for several weeks or months, however, is classified as chronic, and a rehab program is a common treatment option.

3. E. All of the above. You should still speak with your doctor about whether hot or cold packs may benefit you, and which specific stretching exercises are recommended for your pain.

4. B. False. Back pain can vary not only in type but in size. It could cover a large area or be confined to one spot. Leg tingling or numbness can be another symptom.

5. D. None of the above.  All make a difference. Unfortunately, correct posture is often neglected, especially at a computer. Emotional stress can cause muscle tension, which may lead to back pain. Smoking is actually a risk factor for back pain, and quitting is a great step in prevention.

Could your own daily habits be causing your back pain?

Our Living Smart blog has a quick and simple self-assessment quiz for back pain risk. The blog also has lots of great tips and insights from physicians and other healthcare providers about many common ailments and their treatments. 



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