DEAR DOCTOR K: I'm recovering from an episode of low back pain. How quickly (or slowly) should I resume my normal activities? I don't want to reinjure my back.
DEAR READER: You're right: It's a balancing act. Too rapid a return may precipitate a relapse, but too timid a return can delay -- or even prevent -- recovery. I can't give you a definitive answer because I don't know the details of your condition. But here's some general advice.