Back pain has many causes and, as a result, many treatments. Low Back Pain: Healing your aching back, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School, helps you understand why back pain occurs and which treatments are most likely to help. Treatment of low back pain has undergone a recent sea change. Experts now appreciate the central role of exercise to build muscles that support the back. They also better understand which conditions surgery will help and which patients are good surgical candidates. This report describes the different types of back problems and the tailored treatments that are more likely to help specific conditions. A special section is dedicated to the self-care steps you can take to mend your back, and features information on different types of exercise and complementary therapies such as chiropractic care, acupuncture, and massage, as well as healthy back habits and tips on choosing a mattress.