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

Medical Marijuana Seems Safe for Chronic Pain Patients, Study Finds

Posted 1 day 12 hours ago by

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 7, 2015 – Medical marijuana appears mostly safe for treating chronic pain, at least among people with some experience using the drug, a new study suggests. People who used pot to ease their pain didn't have an increased risk of serious side effects, compared to people with pain who didn't use marijuana, a Canadian research team found. But, medical marijuana users were more likely to have less-serious side effects, the study authors said. These side effects included headache, nausea, sleepiness and dizziness, the research revealed. "In terms of a side effect profile, we felt the drug had a reasonably good safety profile, if you compare those effects to other medications," said study lead author Dr. Mark Ware. He is director of clinical research for the Alan Edwards Pain Management Unit at McGill University Health Center in Montreal. Although this study focused on the ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Back Pain, Chronic Pain, Cannabis, Chronic Myofascial Pain, Breakthrough Pain

Good Posture: A Stance for Better Health

Posted 11 days ago by

SATURDAY, Sept. 26, 2015 – Healthy posture is important for your well-being, but achieving it can be an uphill battle in a high-tech, high-heeled world, experts say. "People who have better posture tend to appear more confident and knowledgeable to others. It makes them feel confident internally as well," said Alynn Kakuk, a physical therapist at the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program in Rochester, Minn. Simple exercises and stretching can help your posture, she said. One way to practice healthy posture is to stand with your upper back, shoulders and bottom touching the wall, with your feet a couple of inches away from the wall, she said in a Mayo news release. There should be a slight space between your lower back and the wall, just large enough to fit your hands. Then, step away from the wall and try to see if you can maintain that posture. It's also important to remember that ... Read more

Related support groups: Back Pain, Sciatica, Scoliosis

Health Tip: Prevent Back Injury When Lifting

Posted 15 days ago by

-- Repeated or heavy lifting can strain the back and leave you with aching or injured back muscles. The American Academy of Family Physicians advises: Test how heavy something is before you lift it. Make sure boxed items are packed properly so the weight is balanced. Get a good grip on an item before you lift. Affix handles if possible. Use a ladder or get as near to the item as possible. Lift with your legs and arms instead of your back. Move slowly and smoothly, keeping the item close to the center of your body. Warm up first, and take frequent breaks. Don't attempt to lift something that is too heavy. Seek help when needed. Read more

Related support groups: Back Pain, Muscle Pain, Muscle Spasm

Health Tip: Walk Correctly

Posted 15 days ago by

-- Walking bears a low risk of injury, but it's still possible to hurt yourself if you do it wrong. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends: Walk slowly and easily for about five minutes to warm up, then increase your speed for about 15 minutes. As you walk, swing your arms. Walk with your abdomen flat, back straight and head up. Point your toes forward. Walk with a long stride that is comfortable and without strain. End your walk with a five-minute cool-down and some gentle stretches. Read more

Related support groups: Back Pain, Sciatica, Prevention of Fractures

Back Pain Patients Seek Pain Relief First, Mobility Second

Posted 17 days ago by

MONDAY, Sept. 21, 2015 – Pain relief is a greater concern than mobility for people with a common form of lower back pain known as lumbar spinal stenosis, a new study indicates. When asked to choose between a treatment that would reduce discomfort and one that would help them stand and walk, the vast majority of patients wanted to ease their pain, the researchers found. "There has long been a debate in the medical community over striking the right balance between pain relief and physical function," said the study's lead author, Dr. John Markman, director of the Translational Pain Research Program in the University of Rochester Department of Neurosurgery in Rochester, N.Y. "While physicians have leaned toward the need to increase mobility, this study shows that patients have a clear preference for pain relief," Markman said in a university news release. The researchers explained that ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Oxycodone, Methadone, Hydrocodone, Back Pain, OxyContin, Tramadol, Morphine, Fentanyl, Codeine, Opana, Tylenol, Subutex, Chronic Pain, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Dilaudid, Meloxicam, Opana ER, Acetaminophen

Gains in Life Spans Seen Around the Globe

Posted 27 Aug 2015 by

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: Diabetes, Type 2, Back Pain, 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 25 Aug 2015 by

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 24 Aug 2015 by

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, Hydrocortisone, Dexamethasone, Medrol, Cortisone, Triamcinolone, Herniated Disc, Betamethasone, Scoliosis, Budesonide, Decadron, Entocort, Solu-Medrol, Cortef, Celestone, Entocort EC

Focus on Healthy Backs for Back-to-School

Posted 23 Aug 2015 by

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 18 Aug 2015 by

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

Florida Laws May Help Lower Abuse of Prescription Painkillers

Posted 17 Aug 2015 by

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, Oxycodone, Methadone, Percocet, Hydrocodone, Back Pain, OxyContin, Tramadol, Vicodin, Norco, Morphine, Fentanyl, Lortab, Codeine, Opana, Subutex, Chronic Pain, Dilaudid, Opana ER

Doctor Offers Back-to-School Health Tips

Posted 17 Aug 2015 by

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, Anxiety and Stress, Sleep Disorders, Back Pain, Insomnia, Muscle Pain, Fatigue, Neck Pain, Nightmares, Vaccination and Prophlaxis

Don't Let Backpacks Lead to Back Injury

Posted 17 Aug 2015 by

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

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

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

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