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Gains in Life Spans Seen Around the Globe

Posted 1 day 9 hours ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 27, 2015 – Average life expectancy among people worldwide has risen by more than six years since 1990, and healthy life expectancy has climbed by more than five years, a new report shows. The analysis of data from 188 countries found that life expectancy for both sexes increased from just over 65 years in 1990 to 71.5 years in 2013, while healthy life expectancy rose from almost 57 years to slightly more than 62 years. The findings regarding healthy life expectancy versus total life expectancy mean that people are living more years with illness and disability, according to the authors of the study published Aug. 27 in The Lancet. "The world has made great progress in health, but now the challenge is to invest in finding more effective ways of preventing or treating the major causes of illness and disability," study author Theo Vos, a professor at the Institute for Health ... Read more

Related support groups: Back Pain, Diabetes, Type 2, Heart Disease, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Ischemic Stroke, HIV Infection, Malaria, Respiratory Tract Disease, Ischemic Heart Disease

New Moms Can Avoid Back Injury When Caring for Their Babies

Posted 3 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 25, 2015 – New moms need to reduce their risk of pain and injury when lifting and carrying their babies, an expert says. "Initially, mothers may start off lifting their child of seven to 10 pounds numerous times per day. Slowly, the weight load increases and if the proper lifting techniques aren't used, this can lead to back strain," Dr. Sabrina Strickland, an orthopedic surgeon and a spokeswoman for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, said in an academy news release. After getting their doctor's OK, new moms can begin exercising to restore muscle tone to their abdomen and back, Strickland said. While baby naps, mothers should spend 10 minutes a day on the floor doing strengthening and stretching routines. This will help restore hip and back flexibility and strength, she said. Strickland also advises moms to start eating a healthy diet immediately after giving ... Read more

Related support groups: Back Pain, Sciatica, Scoliosis, Delivery, Premature Labor, Labor Pain, Cesarean Section, Prematurity/Underweight in Infancy, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation

Steroid Injections Probably Won't Help Your Lower Back Pain

Posted 4 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Aug. 24, 2015 – Steroid injections for lower back pain may provide some relief for certain patients, but any benefits are temporary, a new study finds. Lower back pain related to herniated disk (when intervertebral disks become compressed and bulge) and, to a lesser degree, spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal), is often treated with epidural steroid injections, the researchers said. But after reviewing 38 previously published studies, the researchers found no strong evidence to support their use for these conditions. "These injections may not be as effective as perceived, and decisions should be based on an informed discussion of risks, benefits, and potential options, including surgery, medications and nonpharmacological options like exercise therapy," said lead researcher Dr. Roger Chou, a professor of medicine at the Oregon Health & Science University. Chou said ... Read more

Related support groups: Back Pain, Prednisone, Sciatica, Methylprednisolone, Prednisolone, Herniated Disc, Cortisone, Medrol, Hydrocortisone, Dexamethasone, Triamcinolone, Scoliosis, Betamethasone, Budesonide, Decadron, Entocort, Solu-Medrol, Cortef, Celestone, Entocort EC

Focus on Healthy Backs for Back-to-School

Posted 5 days ago by Drugs.com

SATURDAY, Aug. 22, 2015 – With the new school year here, parents might think about measures to protect their children's spinal health, an expert says. "Parents should be attentive to the amount of time children devote to their devices, be sure they are using their backpacks appropriately, and take any complaint of back pain seriously," said Dr. Hargovind Dewal, an orthopedic surgeon with Long Island Spine Specialists and the Peconic Bay Medical Center in New York. Limit backpack weight to 10 to 15 percent of the child's body weight, he advised. For example, the backpack of a 100-pound child should weigh no more than 10 to 15 pounds, he said. Using both shoulder straps will evenly distribute the weight of the backpack, keep the weight close to the body, and help the spine stay aligned, he added. Research shows that for every inch the head tilts forward, pressure on the spine doubles, ... Read more

Related support groups: Back Pain, Sciatica, Herniated Disc, Scoliosis, Spinal Cord Trauma

25 Million U.S. Adults Struggle With Daily Pain

Posted 10 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 18, 2015 – Pain is widespread in much of America, with more than 25 million adults – 11 percent – suffering on a daily basis, a new national survey reveals. And approximately 14 million adults – roughly 6.4 percent – experience severe pain, which can be associated with poorer health and disability, researchers found. Other national studies of chronic pain have yielded similar results, said study author Richard Nahin, an epidemiologist with the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health at the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). "What makes this study unique is that I also looked at how often adults have mild pain," he said. Nahin found that about 54 million adults – nearly one-quarter – reported "mild," but not incapacitating, pain. Whether pain is increasing nationally is difficult to say, Nahin said. But the good news is that roughly half of ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Back Pain, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain, Muscle Pain, Sciatica, Breakthrough Pain, Neck Pain, Knee Joint Replacement, Scoliosis, Neuropathic Pain, Nocturnal Leg Cramps, Frozen Shoulder, Postoperative Pain, Pain/Fever, Somatoform Pain Disorder

Florida Laws May Help Lower Abuse of Prescription Painkillers

Posted 11 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Aug. 17, 2015 – New legislation designed to rein in prescription narcotic abuse in the state of Florida has prompted a small, but quick decrease in narcotic painkiller prescriptions, a new investigation reveals. About a year after the laws were enacted, Florida saw total prescriptions for the narcotic painkillers called opioids drop by 1.4 percent, the study found. Researchers also discovered a 2.5 percent decrease in the total of opioid volume that was dispensed. What's more, significant falloff was seen among patients and dispensaries that had been at the highest end of the prescribing spectrum, the study noted. "There are no magic bullets when it comes to the opioid epidemic," acknowledged study lead author Dr. Caleb Alexander, co-director of the John Hopkins Center of Drug Safety and Effectiveness in Baltimore. "The problem is huge. America is just 5 percent of the world's ... Read more

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

Doctor Offers Back-to-School Health Tips

Posted 11 days ago by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, Aug. 16, 2015 – With the arrival of the new school year, parents need to remember the importance of keeping their children healthy, a pediatrician advises. "As we approach the beginning of each school year, we must consider the ongoing health of our children. Ages differ, and therefore needs and concerns differ, but principles remain the same. Healthier children are happier children," Dr. Peter Richel, a pediatrician at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, N.Y., said in a hospital news release. He outlined a number of ways to help children stay healthy during the school year. One important consideration is making sure they get enough sleep. "We often allow later bedtimes during summer months, usually compensating with later sleeping each morning, but adequate rest cannot be overemphasized once school begins. Bedtime routines are very important, especially with earlier ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Anxiety, Back Pain, Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Anxiety and Stress, Fatigue, Muscle Pain, Neck Pain, Nightmares, Vaccination and Prophlaxis

Don't Let Backpacks Lead to Back Injury

Posted 11 days ago by Drugs.com

SATURDAY, Aug. 15, 2015 – Backpacks are convenient for students, but they can pose a threat to kids' backs, necks and shoulders if used improperly, an expert says. In 2013, there were more than 5,400 backpack-related injuries treated in emergency departments across the United States, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. "In my own practice, I have noticed a marked increase in the number of young children who are complaining about back, neck and shoulder pain," Scott Bautch, of the American Chiropractic Association's Council on Occupational Health, said in an association news release. "The first question I ask these patients is, 'Do you carry a backpack to school?' Almost always, the answer is 'yes,'" he said. A backpack should weigh no more than 5 to 10 percent of a child's weight. And, the backpack should never be wider or longer than the child's torso, Bautch ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Back Pain, Muscle Pain, Neck Pain, Frozen Shoulder

Boy, Girl Newborns Show Spinal Differences: Study

Posted 5 Aug 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 5, 2015 – The spines of boys and girls aren't the same size at birth, a new study shows. Researchers suspect this difference is probably due to an evolutionary adaptation that allows females' spines to cope with the added weight they carry during pregnancy. The researchers used MRIs to measure the small bones that form the spine (vertebrae) in 70 healthy, full-term male and female newborns. The diameter of cross sections of the vertebrae – a key factor in the strength of these bones – were an average of 11 percent smaller in girls than boys, the study revealed. The study was published in the August issue of the Journal of Pediatrics. "Human beings are the only mammals in which this difference is seen, and it is one of the few key physiological differences between the sexes," study senior author Dr. Vicente Gilsanz, research imaging program director at Children's ... Read more

Related support groups: Back Pain, Sciatica, Herniated Disc, Scoliosis, Radiculopathy, Heterotopic Ossification - Spinal Cord Injury

In Rare Cases, Infection May Be at Root of Back Pain

Posted 30 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 30, 2015 – People with back pain that doesn't improve with treatment could have a rare type of spine infection, new guidelines suggest. The infection – called vertebral osteomyelitis – could lead to paralysis or death if it's not diagnosed and treated correctly. The condition is often overlooked because it causes back pain, a common problem typically caused by a pulled muscle or back injury, according to the guidelines published July 30 in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases. "Back pain is so common – and usually not caused by infection – that diagnosis often is missed or delayed," guidelines lead author Dr. Elie Berbari, associate chair of education, division of infectious disease, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Rochester, Minn., said in a news release from the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Vertebral osteomyelitis affects two to six out of 100,000 ... Read more

Related support groups: Back Pain, Bone Infection, Osteomyelitis

U.S. Medical Groups Join to Fight Prescription Painkiller Abuse

Posted 29 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 29, 2015 – Led by the American Medical Association, a group of 27 major U.S. medical organizations are banding together to tackle the continuing epidemic of narcotic painkiller abuse. "We have joined together as part of this special Task Force because we collectively believe that it is our responsibility to work together to provide a clear road map that will help bring an end to this public health epidemic," AMA Board Chair-Elect Dr. Patrice Harris said in an AMA news release released Wednesday. The AMA notes that the abuse of powerful narcotic painkillers – drugs such as Oxycontin and Vicodin – has become a public health crisis in the United States, with 44 people dying each day from overdoses and many more becoming addicted. In fact, a report released in December by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that fatal overdoses involving prescription ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Suboxone, Back Pain, Tramadol, Oxycodone, Methadone, Percocet, Hydrocodone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Chronic Pain, Morphine, Opiate Dependence, Norco, Fentanyl, Lortab, Opiate Withdrawal, Codeine, Opana, Subutex

Rugby Takes Toll on Spine, Scans Show

Posted 21 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 21, 2015 – Retired professional rugby players have more symptoms of cervical spine degeneration than those who don't play the sport, a new study finds. French researchers compared 101 men, aged 35 to 47, who were retired professional rugby players with a control group of 85 people of similar ages who never played a professional sport. "A few years after the end of their careers, professional rugby players seem to have more degenerative symptoms and lesions on the cervical spine. These symptoms are exceptionally disabling [3 of 101 cases in this study," said study author Dr. David Brauge. The former rugby players reported chronic neck pain and reduced neck mobility far more often than those in the control group – more than 50 percent versus nearly 32 percent. However, both groups had similar levels of pain in an evaluation of neck pain. MRI scans showed that the former ... Read more

Related support groups: Back Pain, Spinal Cord Trauma, Diagnosis and Investigation

Back Pain and Depression Combo Lessens Pain Relief from Narcotic Painkillers

Posted 9 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 9, 2015 – For people with chronic back pain who also have depression or anxiety, narcotic painkillers may not be the best therapy for their pain, a new study finds. "A lot of patients have depression and anxiety on top of their back pain," said lead researcher Dr. Ajay Wasan, a professor of anesthesiology and psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Pain can make depression and anxiety worse and depression and anxiety can make pain worse, Wasan said. "It's a two-way street." But, he added, people with depression or anxiety may get a lot less pain relief from narcotic painkillers and have a higher rate of misuse of their medications. Wasan said misuse includes taking too many pills and running out of medication early, doctor shopping – getting prescriptions for the same drug from several doctors – and using marijuana or cocaine along with narcotic ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Depression, Suboxone, Back Pain, Tramadol, Oxycodone, Anxiety and Stress, Methadone, Percocet, Hydrocodone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Chronic Pain, Morphine, Norco, Fentanyl, Lortab, Codeine, Opana, Subutex

Health Tip: Risk Factors for Back Pain

Posted 6 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

-- Most people have back pain at some point, but some are prone to more frequent episodes. The U.S. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases says risk factors for back pain include: Growing older. Back pain often starts when a person is in their 30s or 40s. Getting infrequent physical activity. Being overweight or obese. Having a family history of back pain. Having a chronic illness, such as arthritis or cancer. Having a job that involves a lot of lifting or twisting of the spine. Having poor posture. Being a smoker. Read more

Related support groups: Back Pain, Obesity, Sciatica, Herniated Disc

World's Population Is Getting Sicker, Study Shows

Posted 8 Jun 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 8, 2015 – A new global tally of health finds that only about 4 percent of people worldwide had no health problems in 2013, while a third – about 2.3 billion people – had more than five health problems. And the situation is getting worse, not better: Worldwide, the proportion of years of healthy life people lost because of illness (rather than simply dying earlier) rose from 21 percent in 1990 to 31 percent in 2013, according to the Global Burden of Disease study. The growing number of elderly people also means that the number of people who will be living with health problems will rise rapidly over coming decades, the researchers warned. The study involves data from 188 countries and looks at more than 300 illnesses and injuries, according to a news release from The Lancet, which published the findings June 8. The study is the largest analysis of trends in health around ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Back Pain, Major Depressive Disorder, Neck Pain, Iron Deficiency Anemia, Dysthymia, Hearing Loss

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