BOSTON (CBS) – Back pain is number one when it comes to ranking chronic pain here in the United States.

Read-Listen: Chronic Pain – Stories Of Struggle And Hope: The Series

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So what causes it?

“Spondylolisthesis and spondylosis and radiculopathy. There are a lot of names that are thrown at people in terms of rationale of why they have back pain,” Dr. Dana Zalkind at New England Baptist’s Pain Management Center, told WBZ NewsRadio 1030.

Words you hardly ever hear, but Dr. Zalkind says there are causes we all can relate to.

But for those who have suffered chronic back pain for years, like Allen, the struggle is relentless.

“When the pain is with me it’s impossible. When the pain leaves it’s amazing how resilient people are– you bounce back pretty quickly. The problem is that you get knocked on your butt again and again and again,” he told WBZ.

There is help for people like Allen.

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“Physical therapy, rehab medicine, acupuncture, chiropractic, massage therapy, neuro-muscular massage therapy, complementary medicine,” said Dr. Zalkind.

Those treatments in combination with pharmaceuticals often do the trick.

But the final option is surgery.

“Interventional treatment which is doing injections, whether it be with a local anesthetic, whether it be with steroid, using that modality to improve pain,” he said.

Coming up in part three, we’ll hear from a woman who has waged an excruciating battle with chronic pain.

Listen: Part 2 – Chronic Pain – Stories Of Struggle And Hope

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