Low back pain is a common problem that often goes away after several days or weeks, but in some persons may persist for months or years. The main goal in treating low back pain is to decrease pain and allow patients to resume their normal activities. Some doctors and researchers assume that various traditional treatments are helpful for low back pain; these include drugs (pain killers, anti-inflammatory drugs, and muscle relaxants), physical therapy, back exercises, and education about ways to prevent back injury and to deal with back pain (sometimes called back school). Some treatments have been shown to be unhelpful; they include traction, bed rest, corsets, topical gels, heat therapy, and certain types of massage. Spinal manipulation is an alternative treatment for low back pain. For spinal manipulation, a specially trained person (chiropractor, osteopathic physician, or physical therapist) uses his or her hands to move the bones in the spine. Some guidelines for the treatment of low back pain recommend spinal manipulation, while others do not. One of the reasons experts disagree about the role of spinal manipulation in the treatment of low back pain is that some have compared it to a mix of traditional therapies rather than to each therapy individually.