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Back Pain Blog

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

Health Tip: Prevent Back Strain

Posted 12 days ago 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 16 days ago 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

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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

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Don't Blame Bad Weather for Your Aching Back

Posted 10 Jul 2014 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 10, 2014 – The notion that lower back pain flares up during certain kinds of weather may be all in your head, a new study suggests. Researchers in Australia tracked nearly 1,000 people who were seen for acute low back pain at primary care clinics in Sydney. The investigators looked at weather conditions when the patients' back pain started, as well as one week and one month before it began. Reporting July 10 in the journal Arthritis Care & Research, they found no connection between back pain and temperature, humidity, air pressure, wind direction or precipitation. Higher wind speeds and gusts seemed to slightly increase the risk of low back pain, but this was not to any "clinically significant" degree. "Many patients believe that weather impacts their pain symptoms. However, there are few robust studies investigating weather and pain, specifically research that does not ... Read more

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Steroid Shots May Not Help Back Pain

Posted 3 Jul 2014 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 2, 2014 – People who have lower back pain caused by spinal stenosis – a condition that narrows the open space in the spinal canal – are unlikely to get relief from steroid shots, a new study finds. "Steroid injections are a common treatment for spinal stenosis, and we were surprised by the finding," said lead author Dr. Janna Friedly, an assistant professor of rehabilitation medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle. "These steroid injections aren't helpful," she said. "There is no added benefit to the steroid itself, so if people are considering these injections, I would recommend that they consider an alternative." Spinal stenosis causes pain by putting pressure on the spinal nerves. The condition is common in men and women over 60, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Spinal stenosis is often treated with injections of local ... Read more

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Health Tip: Worried About a Child's Back Pain?

Posted 9 Jun 2014 by Drugs.com

-- Back pain in children can be a warning sign of a more serious medical condition. The American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons mentions these serious warning signs of back pain in children: Losing weight or having a fever. Feeling weak or numb. Having difficulty walking. Feeling pain extending down both legs. Having trouble with the bowels or bladder. Having pain that interrupts sleep. Read more

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Health Tip: Keep Your Back Healthy

Posted 2 Apr 2014 by Drugs.com

-- 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 Drugs.com

-- 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 Drugs.com

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 Drugs.com

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 Drugs.com

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

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Migraine, Chronic Back Pain Tied to Higher Suicide Risk

Posted 22 May 2013 by Drugs.com

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

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