What cures colds, flu, sore throats, sore muscles, headaches, stomach aches, diarrhea, menstrual cramps, hangovers, back pain, jaw pain, tennis elbow, blisters, acne and colic, costs nothing, has no weird side effects and doesn't require a prescription?
Plain old-fashioned time. But it's often the hardest medicine for patients to take.
For all the misery it causes, 80% to 90% of back pain resolves with only "conservative measures" (which include anti-inflammatory drugs, rest, heat, physical therapy and chiropractic treatments). "Sometimes it take days to weeks, sometimes it takes weeks to months, but pain lasts more than three months in only about 10% of cases," says Michael J. Yaszemski, chief of orthopedic spine surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
Wall Street Journal, 09/22/09