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Physical Therapy Equals Surgery for Certain Lower Back Pain, Study Says

Posted 20 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 7, 2015 – Physical therapy may be just as good as surgery for older adults with a type of chronic lower back pain, new research suggests. Standard treatments for lumbar spinal stenosis – a painful, often disabling narrowing of the spinal canal – are an operation known as surgical decompression or physical therapy. But physical therapy is much less invasive and less risky than surgery. "Adverse events from surgery range from 15 to 20 percent, with half of those being serious or life-threatening," said study author Anthony Delitto. "The risks of physical therapy are considerably less, and one would be hard-pressed to consider any of the risks serious," said Delitto, a professor of physical therapy and associate dean of research with the school of health and rehabilitation sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. Results of the study, funded by the U.S. National ... Read more

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Study Casts Doubt on Acetaminophen for Low Back Pain, Arthritis

Posted 1 Apr 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 31, 2015 – Acetaminophen – best known as Tylenol in the United States – does not appear to help ease lower back pain and offers little relief for the most common form of arthritis, according to a new report. The review of data from 13 studies could challenge existing recommendations on pain relief, experts say. "These results support the reconsideration of recommendations to use [acetaminophen] for patients" with these conditions, concluded a team led by Gustavo Machado of The George Institute for Global Health at the University of Sydney in Australia. The researchers analyzed 10 studies that examined the use of acetaminophen to treat osteoarthritis of the hip or knee, and three studies that assessed the use of the painkiller for lower back pain. Osteoarthritis – the most common form of arthritis – and back pain are among the leading causes of disability worldwide, ... Read more

Related support groups: Back Pain, Percocet, Vicodin, Norco, Tylenol, Lortab, Acetaminophen, Fioricet, Paracetamol, Excedrin, Endocet, Darvocet-N 100, Tylenol PM, NyQuil, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Ultracet, Tylenol with Codeine, Percocet 10/325, Roxicet, Tylenol with Codeine 3

Obesity, Smoking, Drinking, Depression: All Linked to Low Back Pain

Posted 25 Mar 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 25, 2015 – People suffering from lower back pain who smoke, drink, are depressed or are obese may be able to ease their agony by making some lifestyle changes, a new study suggests. "If you have lower back pain that is not explained by a spinal problem but is more of a muscle pain, things like obesity, alcohol abuse, smoking and depression, factors that you can affect, can be contributing to it," explained lead researcher Dr. Scott Shemory, an orthopedic surgeon with Summa Health System in Akron, Ohio. Of all these risks, obesity is most obviously associated with back pain, he said. "It puts stress on all the joints and the lower back as well," he said. Also, smoking can decrease blood flow, which can also contribute to pain, he said. As for depression, it might contribute to the pain. On the other hand, lower back pain might contribute to depression, Shemory said. The ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Back Pain, Obesity, Smoking, Alcohol Dependence, Alcoholism, Acute Alcohol Intoxication

Early Scans for Back Pain May Do Little to Help Seniors

Posted 17 Mar 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 17, 2015 – Most current guidelines suggest that when seniors report new back pain to their primary care physician they should quickly be sent for diagnostic imaging, such as CT scans or MRIs. But a new study suggests that early imaging may actually be a waste of both time and money. "Older adults with back pain who seek care and get imaging within six weeks of their doctors visit for back pain do not have better outcomes than similar older adults who do not get early imaging," said study author Dr. Jeffrey Jarvik. He is a professor of radiology, neurological surgery and health services at the University of Washington, in Seattle. In fact, Jarvik noted that "although early imaging is not associated with better pain and function outcomes, it is associated with greater use of health care services, such as visits [and] injections." And that, he said, "translates into a ... Read more

Related support groups: Back Pain, Diagnosis and Investigation, Body Imaging

Belief in Acupuncture Key to Effect on Back Pain, Study Suggests

Posted 2 Mar 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Feb. 27, 2015 – Acupuncture for back pain is more likely to help people who believe the treatment will work, new research suggests. The study included 485 people who received acupuncture for back pain and completed questionnaires before they began treatment, at two and three months into treatment, and then again at six months after treatment. Patients who had low expectations of acupuncture before they began the therapy gained less benefit than those who believed it would work, according to the researchers at the University of Southampton in England. The investigators also found that patients who had a positive view of their back pain and felt in control of their condition had less back-related disability while undergoing acupuncture. The findings, published in the March issue of the Clinical Journal of Pain, showed that "psychological factors were consistently associated with ... Read more

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Narcotic Painkiller Use Tied to Higher Risk for Depression

Posted 20 Feb 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Feb. 20, 2015 – High doses of powerful narcotic painkillers appear to be linked to a higher risk of depression in patients, new research finds. The study focuses on a class of prescription narcotic painkillers called opioids, which include drugs such as Oxycontin and Vicodin. While most people use the medicines to ease pain, widespread abuse of narcotic painkillers is also a growing concern. The new study involved 355 patients in Texas who reported low back pain at an initial medical visit and still had the pain one and two years later. Although the study couldn't prove cause-and-effect, people who used higher doses of narcotic painkillers to manage their pain were more likely to have an increase in depression, the researchers found. Learning more about the link between these painkillers and depression, along with what dosage might put patients at higher risk, "may inform ... Read more

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Some Jobs Are a Pain in the Back

Posted 16 Feb 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 16, 2015 – Working in an awkward position significantly increases the risk of developing low back pain, a new study finds. Doing manual labor that involved awkward positions increased the risk of low back pain by eight times. Other significant risk factors included fatigue and being distracted during an activity. The risk of back pain was highest between 7 a.m. and noon, the Australian researchers found. The findings were reported in the new issue of the journal Arthritis Care & Research. "Our study is the first to examine brief exposure to a range of modifiable triggers for an acute episode of low back pain," Manuela Ferreira, an associate professor at the George Institute for Global Health and Sydney Medical School at the University of Sydney in Australia, said in a journal news release. Nearly 10 percent of people worldwide suffer back pain at some point in their lives. ... Read more

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Smokers May Get Less Benefit From Drugs for Arthritic Back Pain

Posted 10 Feb 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Feb. 10, 2015 – Smoking may hamper the effects of certain drugs used to treat inflammatory arthritis in the lower back, a new study from Switzerland says. Researchers from University Hospital Zurich looked at how 700 people with this type of arthritis responded to treatment with a class of drugs called tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors. About two-thirds of the patients were smokers. After one to two years of treatment, the drugs were significantly less effective in smokers. The difference was particularly apparent among patients who had higher levels of an inflammatory marker called C-reactive protein at the start of the study. Former smokers did not experience reduced effectiveness from the drugs, according to the study. The research only saw an association between smoking and the drugs' benefits, not a cause-and-effect relationship. The results were published online ... Read more

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Health Tip: Why Your Child's Back Hurts

Posted 2 Feb 2015 by Drugs.com

-- Children, like adults, may occasionally complain of a sore back. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons explains these possible causes: A strained muscle or joint. A condition called rounded back caused by wedged vertebrae. A stress fracture affecting the spine. A slipped vertebrae. An infection in the space between the vertebrae. Rarely, a tumor of the spine. Read more

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Health Tip: Prevent Back Strain

Posted 7 Dec 2014 by Drugs.com

-- The muscles in your back bear the brunt of your body weight as you walk, run and lift, so they're vulnerable to sprains and strains. The Cleveland Clinic suggests these tips to protect your back: Make sure your diet is nutritious and balanced. Maintain a healthy body weight to help reduce muscle strain. Stretch and exercise regularly. Reduce your risk of falls by wearing properly fitting, sturdy shoes and making sure that stairs and walkways are clear of clutter. Practice proper body mechanics when you sit, stand and lift. That means practicing good posture and lifting with your knees, not your back. Don't twist or over-reach when lifting. Don't smoke. Nicotine can affect blood flow to your muscles. Read more

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Stand-Up Advice for Preventing Back Pain

Posted 3 Dec 2014 by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, Nov. 30, 2014 – Age-related wear and tear of the spine is a common cause of back pain, but there are things you can do to reduce your risk of back injury and discomfort, an expert says. "Many people with lower backaches say symptoms disrupt their daily routines; however, everyday habits may be the factors causing the pain," said Dr. Michael Gleiber, an orthopedic spine surgeon and American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons spokesman. "It's important to identify some of those behaviors, avoid them and adapt healthy ones," he said in an academy news release. Do regular exercise to strengthen your back and core muscles. If you have acute back pain, don't do strenuous exercise, but get up and move around, Gleiber said. Being in bed or inactive for too long could cause your back pain symptoms to get worse. Try to avoid lifting heavy objects. If you have to do heavy lifting, use proper ... Read more

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FDA Panel Mulls Worth of Steroid Shots For Back Pain

Posted 25 Nov 2014 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 25, 2014 – An expert advisory panel of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will decide Tuesday whether to recommend that doctors stop giving steroid injections for back pain. These shots are commonly used to treat back pain, but they are not approved for this use and whether the risks outweigh the benefits is a matter of debate. According to the FDA, serious but rare side effects with these shots can include death, spinal cord blockage, paralysis, blindness, stroke, seizures, nerve injury and brain swelling. And experts are divided on whether steroid shots actually ease back pain. A study published earlier this year in the New England Journal of Medicine found that people who have lower back pain caused by spinal stenosis – a common condition among those over the age of 60 in which the open space in the spinal canal narrows from inflammation – are unlikely to get ... Read more

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Doctors' Group Issues Painkiller Guidelines

Posted 29 Sep 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Sept. 29, 2014 – The risks of powerful narcotic painkillers outweigh their benefits for treating chronic headaches, low back pain and fibromyalgia, a new statement from the American Academy of Neurology says. Narcotic, or opioid, painkillers include medications such as morphine, codeine, oxycodone (Oxycontin), methadone, fentanyl, hydrocodone or a combination of the drugs with acetaminophen. The drugs can cause serious side effects, overdose, addiction and death. Research shows that 50 percent of patients who took opioids for at least three months are still on them five years later, according to the academy. Studies find that while opioids may provide short-term pain relief, there is no proof that they maintain pain relief or improve patients' ability to function over long periods of time without a serious risk of overdose, dependence or addiction, the statement says. "More ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Headache, Back Pain, Fibromyalgia, Tramadol, Oxycodone, Methadone, Percocet, Hydrocodone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Morphine, Norco, Fentanyl, Lortab, Codeine, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Ultram

Positions Are Key When Sex Causes Back Pain

Posted 10 Sep 2014 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 10, 2014 – Guided by movements of couples engaged in sexual intercourse, a new report suggests that alternatives to the traditional missionary-style position can help men who have lower back pain. The findings report that side-by-side intercourse, known as "spooning" and thought by some to be a cure-all, isn't recommended for everyone. Back pain during sex is a major issue for many people and there's been little, if any, research into the best positions, the Canadian study authors pointed out. "Up until now, clinicians have only had opinions to go on. Our objective was to set guidelines," said the study's lead author, Stuart McGill, director of the Spine Biomechanics Laboratory at the University of Waterloo in Ontario. The good news is that most men with back pain can avoid triggering their pain during sex, he added. At least one back pain expert, however, dismissed ... Read more

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Acetaminophen May Not Help Against Back Pain, Study Contends

Posted 23 Jul 2014 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 23, 2014 – Even though its use is often advised by doctors, the painkiller acetaminophen – best known as Tylenol – does not help treat lower back pain, according to a new Australian study. The researchers found the drug was no more effective than a dummy pill for more than 1,600 people suffering from acute lower back pain. Besides showing no effect in easing discomfort, the study also found the drug was no help in improving sleep woes tied to back pain, nor did it improve patients' overall quality of life. The research team said the findings call into question the belief that acetaminophen should be the first choice when treating this common form of back pain. The drug "might not be of primary importance in the management of acute lower back pain," study lead author Dr. Christopher Williams from the George Institute for Global Health at the University of Sydney in ... Read more

Related support groups: Back Pain, Tylenol, Acetaminophen, Paracetamol, Panadol, Tylenol Extra Strength, Panadol Osteo, Q-Pap, Tylenol Arthritis Caplet, Childrens Tylenol, Acetaminophen Quickmelt, Panamax, Lemsip Max, Perfalgan, Aceta, Q-Pap Extra Strength, Buckleys Complete, Altenol, Paracets, Doliprane

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