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Back Pain Blog

Related terms: Backache, Pain, back, Slipped Disc, Degenerative Disk Disease, Bulging Disc, Degenerative Disc Disease

Health Tip: Keep Your Back Healthy

Posted 17 days ago by

-- To help reduce your risk of a back injury, start with living a healthier lifestyle. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons offers these suggestions to help protect your back: Get plenty of regular exercise. Alternate cardiovascular exercises with those designed to strengthen the back and abdominals. Avoid gaining extra weight, which adds stress to the lower back and spine. Don't smoke, which can lead to premature aging of the spine. Practice good posture; stand, sit and lift objects appropriately. Read more

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Health Tip: You May Need Surgery for Low Back Pain

Posted 4 Sep 2013 by

-- If low back pain can't be eased with a combination of rest, medication or exercise, you may opt for surgery, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons says. The group says these factors may indicate the need to visit the operating room: Pain in the leg or lower back interferes with daily activities and affects quality of life. Back pain develops to other neurological problems, such as weakness or numbness in the limbs. Bowel or bladder function are affected. Walking and standing are compromised. Therapy and medication have not been effective. Read more

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Severe Low Back Pain May Foretell Future Woes

Posted 20 Aug 2013 by

TUESDAY, Aug. 20 – For people suffering from severe, short-term low back pain, an end may not be in sight: A new study finds that they're at increased risk for long-term pain and disability. The study included 488 people who were treated for low back pain and were then sent questionnaires every six months for five years. Higher levels of pain at the initial visit were associated with a 12 percent higher risk of pain six months later, and with a 9 percent increased risk of pain five years later. Patients who will fail to find future relief may suspect it early on, the study suggests. Participants' beliefs that their pain would persist was associated with a 4 percent increased risk at six months and a 6 percent increased risk at 5 years. The study was published in the August issue of The Journal of Pain. The findings confirm previous research showing that initial low back pain intensity ... Read more

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Docs Order Too Many Narcotics, Pricey Scans for Back Pain: Study

Posted 29 Jul 2013 by

MONDAY, July 29 – Many doctors ignore guidelines about the treatment of back pain and instead turn to extensive use of scans like MRIs and the most addictive types of painkillers, new research finds. It's not clear exactly how many aren't following recommendations, nor whether they're causing harm or perhaps just not helping patients get better. Researchers also don't know if the physicians are unaware of the guidelines or simply don't want to follow them. Still, the findings are troublesome, said study author Dr. John Mafi, chief medical resident at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. While they may be appropriate in some cases, treatments like scans and powerful painkillers "are increasingly being overused, and unnecessarily so," he said. "Doctors are increasingly not following guidelines." Back pain and neck pain (which the new study combines into one category) are very ... Read more

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Steroid Injections for Back Pain Linked to Spinal Fracture Risk

Posted 14 Jun 2013 by

FRIDAY, June 14 – Older adults who get steroid injections to ease lower back and leg pain may have increased odds of suffering a spine fracture, a new study suggests. It's not clear, however, whether the treatment is to blame, according to experts. But they said the findings, which were published June 5 in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, suggest that older patients with low bone density should be cautious about steroid injections. The treatment involves injecting anti-inflammatory steroids into the area of the spine where a nerve is being compressed. The source of that compression could be a herniated disc, for instance, or spinal stenosis – a condition common in older adults, in which the open spaces in the spinal column gradually narrow. Steroid injections can bring temporary pain relief, but it's known that steroids in general can cause bone density to decrease over time. ... Read more

Related support groups: Back Pain, Prednisone, Prednisolone, Methylprednisolone, Cortisone, Hydrocortisone, Medrol, Triamcinolone, Dexamethasone, Betamethasone, Decadron, Entocort, Budesonide, Solu-Medrol, Cortef, Entocort EC, Celestone, Orapred, Depo-Medrol, Medrol Dosepak

Migraine, Chronic Back Pain Tied to Higher Suicide Risk

Posted 22 May 2013 by

WEDNESDAY, May 22 – People who endure chronic migraines or back pain are more likely to attempt suicide, whether or not they also suffer from depression or another psychiatric condition, according to a new study. "Clinicians who are seeing patients with certain pain conditions should be aware they are at increased risk of suicide," said study co-author Mark Ilgen, of the Veterans Affairs Serious Mental Illness Treatment Resource and Evaluation Center in Ann Arbor, Mich. "Although undoubtedly psychiatric factors are important, there might be aspects of the pain that in and of themselves increase a person's risk," Ilgen said. "There might be something about someone with significant pain that puts them at increased risk." The wide-ranging study, published online May 22 in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, involved more than 4.8 million people who received care from the U.S. Veterans Health ... Read more

Related support groups: Back Pain, Migraine

Stem Cells to Relieve Low Back Pain?

Posted 15 Apr 2013 by

FRIDAY, April 12 – Medical researchers are trying a new treatment for low back pain. Their hope is that harvesting and then re-injecting the body's own bone marrow – which is rich in stem cells – may repair worn-out discs in the spine. In a small new study, the approach appeared to be safe – and none of the patients reported that their pain got worse after the procedure. But both the doctors who are testing the technique and outside experts say much more research is needed before they can say whether the treatment offers real relief. "I tell everybody that this is experimental, with a capital E," said Dr. Joseph Meyer Jr., an anesthesiologist and pain medicine specialist at the Columbia Interventional Pain Center, in St. Louis. "We don't know if it works. I do believe that it's safe, but it might not do anything for you." For the study, Meyer and his colleagues reviewed the case ... Read more

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Hands-On Therapy May Spell Relief for Low Back Pain

Posted 18 Mar 2013 by

MONDAY, March 18 – Having an osteopath move your back muscles using techniques that include stretching, light pressure and resistance (called OMT) may trump ultrasound therapy for the relief of lower back pain, new research suggests. According to the study, OMT was not only more effective than ultrasound for treating low back pain, but its use also allowed participants to cut down on the amount of medication they took to treat their lower back pain throughout the 12-week study. Nearly two-thirds of the individuals who received OMT had a 30 percent reduction in their pain level, and half of those patients had a 50 percent reduction in their pain level, the study showed. "The main message from this research study is that hands-on treatment provided by an osteopathic physician is a viable option that can reduce pain and prescription-drug use," said study author Cathleen Kearns, of the ... Read more

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Health Tip: Dealing With Low Back Pain

Posted 7 Feb 2013 by

-- Low back pain can result from an injury or from degeneration of disks between the spine's vertebrae. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons suggests how to manage with low back pain: Ask your doctor about taking medication, such as a pain reliever, anti-inflammatory drug or a steroid. Consider physical therapy, an exercise program for back pain or chiropractic treatment. Consider wearing a back brace. Talk to your doctor about whether you need surgery. Read more

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When It Comes to Spine Surgery, There Is No 'July Effect': Study

Posted 29 Jan 2013 by

TUESDAY, Jan. 29 – There's no proof to support the widely held belief that July is the worst time of year to have spinal surgery, according to a new study. Researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., looked at whether there was any evidence of the so-called "July Effect," which is the notion that the arrival of new residents and fellows at teaching hospitals each July makes it the worst time of year to be a patient. The investigators examined data on nearly 1 million patients who had spinal surgery from 2001 to 2008 and found that the month in which they had surgery had little effect on their outcomes. Incidents of all negative outcomes studied were slightly higher in teaching hospitals than in non-teaching hospitals. In the teaching hospitals, there were minimally higher rates of infection after surgery, and patient discharge to a long-term care facility in July compared ... Read more

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Obese Patients May Have Less Success With Back Surgery

Posted 15 Jan 2013 by

TUESDAY, Jan. 15 – Obese patients who undergo back surgery for a slipped or ruptured lumbar disk (lumbar disk herniation) spend more time in the operating room and have more blood loss and longer hospital stays than non-obese patients, according to a new study. The study also found that obese patients fare worse after surgical or nonsurgical treatment than those who aren't obese. The study included more than 300 obese patients and about 850 non-obese patients who had surgical or non-surgical treatment for lumbar disk herniation. Four years after treatment, obese patients showed less improvement in physical function. Both groups had similar improvements in pain levels. Obese patients did not have higher rates of infection, complications during surgery, recurrent disk herniation or reoperation. The benefit of surgery over nonsurgical treatment was not affected by a patient's weight, ... Read more

Related support groups: Back Pain, Obesity

Back Pain May Ease for Smokers Who Quit: Study

Posted 14 Dec 2012 by

FRIDAY, Dec. 14 – Quitting smoking helps reduce back pain in people being treated for spinal problems, according to a new study. The findings show the need for programs to help these patients quit smoking, the researchers said. They looked at more than 5,300 patients who had back pain caused by a spinal disorder and underwent surgical or nonsurgical treatment over eight months. When they began treatment, prior smokers and patients who had never smoked reported much less back pain than current smokers and those who quit smoking during the study. Current smokers had significantly greater scores on all pain ratings used in the study – worst, current and average weekly pain – than patients who never smoked. Patients who quit smoking during treatment reported greater improvements in pain than those who continued to smoke, according to the study, which was published in the December issue ... Read more

Related support groups: Back Pain, Smoking Cessation

Steroid Injections for Back Pain May Lower Bone Mass

Posted 2 Dec 2012 by

SATURDAY, Dec. 1 – Older women who get steroid injections in the spine to treat lower back pain may be at risk for bone loss in their hips, a small study suggests. It is well known that the anti-inflammatory steroid medications used to treat diseases such as asthma and rheumatoid arthritis may decrease a person's bone mass over time. But it hasn't been clear whether steroid shots – one treatment option for lower back pain – are connected to bone loss. "It's been thought that [the steroids] might stay in the epidural space of the spine," explained study author Dr. Shlomo Mandel, an orthopedic physician at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital, in Michigan. Safety questions about steroid injections also have been raised in recent months, as U.S. health officials investigate a deadly outbreak of fungal meningitis linked to steroid shots produced by a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy ... Read more

Related support groups: Back Pain, Prednisone, Osteoporosis, Prednisolone, Methylprednisolone, Cortisone, Hydrocortisone, Medrol, Triamcinolone, Dexamethasone, Betamethasone, Decadron, Budesonide, Entocort, Solu-Medrol, Cortef, Entocort EC, Celestone, Orapred, Depo-Medrol

Tainted Steroid Injections May Affect Those Treated for Joint Pain

Posted 16 Oct 2012 by

TUESDAY, Oct. 16 – The nationwide meningitis outbreak linked to contaminated steroid injections has so far been focused on back pain patients. Far less attention has been paid to those patients who got injections of methylprednisolone acetate to ease chronic pain in joints such as knees, shoulders and hips. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now reporting that two people who received a steroid injection for pain in a joint – rather than the back – may have come down with a fungal infection. One case is in Michigan, the other New Hampshire, but it will take time to confirm they are fungal infections, agency spokeswoman Melissa Dankel said Monday. People with chronic pain in ankles, knees, shoulders, hips and thumbs commonly get injections of methylprednisolone acetate in the troubled joint to relieve inflammation that causes discomfort and limits movement. Unlike ... Read more

Related support groups: Back Pain, Chronic Pain, Methylprednisolone, Medrol, Meningitis, Solu-Medrol, Depo-Medrol, Medrol Dosepak, A-methapred, Methylpred DP, Medralone 80, Depopred, M-Prednisolone, Adlone-80, Methacort 80, Medipred, Depmedalone, Methylcotolone, Medralone 40, Depoject-80

FDA Medwatch Alert: New England Compounding Center (NECC) Potentially Contaminated Medication: Fungal Meningitis Outbreak

Posted 6 Oct 2012 by

  [Posted 10/05/2012] ISSUE: FDA has observed fungal contamination by direct microscopic examination of foreign matter taken from a sealed vial of methylprednisolone acetate collected from New England Compounding Center (NECC). FDA is in the process of conducting additional microbial testing to confirm the exact species of the fungus. Investigation into the exact source of the outbreak is still ongoing, but the outbreak is associated with a potentially contaminated medication. That product is preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate (80mg/ml), an injectable steroid produced and distributed by New England Compounding Center (NECC) in Framingham, Massachusetts. CDC’s interim data show that all infected patients received injection with this product. BACKGROUND: FDA was been working closely with CDC, several state health departments, and the Massachusetts Board of Pharmacy to in ... Read more

Related support groups: Back Pain, Methylprednisolone, Medrol, Solu-Medrol, Depo-Medrol, Medrol Dosepak, A-methapred, Methylpred DP, Medralone 80, Depopred, M-Prednisolone, Adlone-80, Methacort 80, Medipred, Depmedalone, Methylcotolone, Medralone 40, Depoject-80, Predacorten, Duralone

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