Richard Hoblitzell, M.D. sees plenty of arthritic hips and assorted joint problems, but many patients visiting his office—40 percent by his estimate—seek relief for low back pain that can be caused by a number of issues, from a strain that irritates arthritis to bulged discs pressing on nerves. Compression fractures, spinal deformity and, rarely, infections, tumors and problems unrelated to the spine can also be responsible for discomfort. In fact, Dr. Hoblitzell says that up to 80 percent of us will one day experience back pain. Why? “Our entire upper body weight is supported by the back,” he notes. So when something goes awry in this area, Ouch! We’re going to feel it. Dr. Hoblitzell specializes in general orthopaedics and total joint replacement with a particular interest in the care and management of low back pain.