A friend of mine with really severe back problems (she has a cage in her back) recently slipped and injured the last (healthy) disc in her lower back. She thought her surgeon would have called for another operation but she wouldn't do that. Instead she stopped carrying anything remotely heavy, rested, got massages and chiropractic adjustments and took care of herself and several months later was feeling much, much better. The key was that she took really rigorous care of herself.
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