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Take the Back Pain Out of Backpacks

Posted 18 days ago by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, Sept. 3, 2017 – Backpacks can mean backaches for schoolchildren, but an orthopedic surgeon has advice for parents and kids about how to keep soreness at bay. "Parents should inspect their child's backpack from time to time," said Dr. Joshua Hyman of New York-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital in New York City. Kids "often carry much more than they should, with extra shoes, toys, electronic devices and other unnecessary items," he explained in a hospital news release. Hyman suggests that before sending kids off to school, parents should follow these backpack safety tips: Be a weight-watcher. According to Hyman, backpacks shouldn't weigh more than 15 percent of a kid's body weight. That's the equivalent of 7 pounds for a 50-pound child. Lighten the load. If you feel that your child is weighed down by too many textbooks, talk to the teacher about whether any can be ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Back Pain, Sciatica, Scoliosis

'Smart' Underwear May Help Prevent Back Pain

Posted 11 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Aug. 11, 2017 – Mechanized "smart" undergarments may be the answer to back pain, according to researchers. The Vanderbilt University engineers have created an undergarment that eases stress on the low back and activates only when a wearer needs it. "I'm sick of Tony Stark [the fictional Iron Man] and Bruce Wayne [Batman's alter ego] being the only ones with performance-boosting supersuits. We, the masses, want our own," Karl Zelik, principal investigator on the project, quipped in a university news release. "The difference is that I'm not fighting crime. I'm fighting the odds that I'll strain my back this week trying to lift my 2-year-old." That same kind of back strain got the assistant professor of mechanical engineering thinking about wearable tech solutions. Made of nylon canvas, Lycra, polyester and other materials, the "smart" underwear feels and behaves like regular ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Back Pain, Sciatica, Herniated Disc, Scoliosis, Radiculopathy

Lower Back Injuries Plague Many Athletes

Posted 16 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, July 14, 2017 – Back injuries are common, especially among competitive athletes. Nearly 1 in 3 athletes playing professional or varsity-level sports experiences a back injury, a research review finds. "Competitive players stress their lumbar [lower] spine for hundreds of hours a month, thereby predisposing themselves to specific injuries that should be recognized by health care practitioners," said lead author Dr. Wellington Hsu, an orthopedic spine surgeon at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. The human spine has 24 bones, or vertebrae. They're stacked on top of each other, separated by flat, round cushioning disks. When people walk or run, these disks absorb shock, the authors explained. Athletes are at risk for problems involving their back bones and discs, particularly if they start intense training regimens when they are between 10 and 24 years old, the researchers ... Read more

Related support groups: Back Pain, Sciatica, Herniated Disc, Scoliosis, Fracture, bone, Spondyloarthritis, Compression Fracture of Vertebral Column, Radiculopathy, Lower Limb Spasticity, Prevention of Fractures

JFK's Long, Silent Struggle With Back Pain

Posted 11 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 11, 2017 – Contrary to his youthful, vibrant public image, former President John F. Kennedy privately battled chronic, debilitating back pain much of his life. A new report chronicles JFK's pain issues and the many treatments he received throughout the years. The report includes private details – from multiple failed spinal surgeries and narcotic injections, to use of a back brace that some believe may have played a role in his death. "He went through the wringer visiting different surgeons and physicians and experts in their field – well-known people," said study co-author Dr. Justin Dowdy. He is a neurosurgeon and partner at Hot Springs Neurosurgery Clinic in Arkansas. While Kennedy's care would be different today due to advances in surgery and imaging technology, Dowdy doesn't see reason to second-guess clinicians' recommendations at the time. "They did the best they ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Suboxone, Surgery, Back Pain, Percocet, Vicodin, Norco, Lortab, Chronic Pain, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Meloxicam, Sciatica, Advil, Diclofenac, Voltaren, Aleve, Mobic, Motrin, Herniated Disc

Health Tip: Are You at Risk for a Herniated Disk?

Posted 6 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

-- A herniated disk occurs when a soft pad between the vertebrae of the spine slips out, pressing against nearby nerves and causing pain. Here are common risk factors, courtesy of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: Lifting objects incorrectly. Being a smoker. Being overweight. Applying sudden pressure to the spine. Repeated straining of the back muscles. Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Back Pain, Sciatica, Herniated Disc, Scoliosis, Radiculopathy

Nerve Zap Unlikely to Ease Low Back Pain

Posted 5 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 5, 2017 – Sending an electrical current directly into spinal nerves does no more than strength and mobility exercises for low back pain, a new study finds. The procedure, called radiofrequency denervation, has become an increasingly popular way to try to ease pain arising from joints in the spine, the researchers noted. But "our findings do not support the added value of radiofrequency denervation to a standardized exercise program," said study author Esther Maas, who conducted the investigation while at Vrije University in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. "Based on our results, a standardized exercise program alone has to be the first choice in the treatment of these patients," Maas said. Low back pain affects at least 80 percent of people sometime in their lives, according to the American Spinal Decompression Association. The World Health Organization reports that low back ... Read more

Related support groups: Back Pain, Sciatica, Herniated Disc, Scoliosis, Radiculopathy

Take A New View of Yoga

Posted 5 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 5, 2017 – Want to add strength training, flexibility, and even stress reduction to your fitness plan? Then it's time to consider – or reconsider, if you've shied away from it in the past – the ancient Indian practice of yoga. Some 11 million Americans take part in one form of yoga or another. And, far from being a new-age type of exercise, it's embraced by people from all walks of life – men as well as women, and even pro athletes, according to the American Council on Exercise. And you don't have to twist yourself into a pretzel to do it. The most popular discipline is Hatha yoga, which stresses concentration and uses stretching and strengthening exercises. Many poses or asanas aren't complicated, but they are effective. You can choose those specifically targeted to your needs. For example, the Warrior 2 pose improves hip flexibility and strengthens the quadriceps. ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Depression, Back Pain, Major Depressive Disorder, Chronic Pain, Muscle Pain, Sciatica, Dysthymia

Don't Let Summer Strain Your Back

Posted 2 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

SATURDAY, July 1, 2017 – Summer is the time when everyone dives into yard work and takes family vacations. But all that time spent bending, lifting and traveling can strain your back, spine experts say. An estimated 3.7 million Americans sought care for back pain and injuries at doctors' offices in the summer of 2014, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). "Many back injuries occur from sudden movements during daily activities such as bending, lifting and twisting," said Dr. Afshin Razi, a spokesperson for the academy. "Always be mindful of the way you're positioning your body and practice safe lifting techniques during these motions. Keep the core muscles in your back and abdomen strong and flexible. Strengthening your core muscles will help to support your spine," Razi said in an AAOS news release. The academy offers these tips for protecting yourself from ... Read more

Related support groups: Back Pain, Sciatica, Herniated Disc, Scoliosis, Radiculopathy

Yoga Soothes Back Pain in Study

Posted 19 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 19, 2017 – If you suffer from chronic low back pain, yoga might bring you as much relief as physical therapy, a new trial shows. The less positive finding: Both therapies fell far short of helping everyone. People who did yoga or physical therapy reported less pain on average after 12 weeks – an improvement that held up over a year. And some were able to cut out pain medication. Still, many failed to get meaningful relief, the researchers noted. Experts said the findings reflect the reality of chronic low back pain: No single treatment has proven widely effective. "We do not have any magic bullet," said lead researcher Dr. Robert Saper. According to guidelines published earlier this year by the American College of Physicians (ACP), non-drug options should be the first-line treatment against low back pain. That's largely because pain medications and other drugs are not ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Back Pain, Chronic Pain, Sciatica, Herniated Disc, Scoliosis, Breakthrough Pain, Radiculopathy

Seniors Get Good Results From Herniated Disc Surgery

Posted 16 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, June 16, 2017 – People over age 65 shouldn't avoid surgery for a herniated disc just because of their age. Seniors benefit from the procedure as much as younger patients, Norwegian research shows. The study involved more than 5,500 people with a herniated, or "slipped" disc. The condition occurs when one of the discs that cushions bones in the spine gets damaged, causing it to push forward. The result is lower back pain that can extend to the leg and foot, and even lead to paralysis. Exercise, heat and pain medication provide relief in some cases. But people with severe pain or disability may need surgery, according to researchers at St. Olav's Hospital in Trondheim, Norway and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). The investigators compared patient-reported outcomes after disc surgery. The study included nearly 5,200 patients under age 65, and about 380 ... Read more

Related support groups: Back Pain, Sciatica, Herniated Disc, Scoliosis, Orthopedic Surgery, Radiculopathy

'Mindfulness' Probably Won't Cure Your Back Pain: Study

Posted 25 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 25, 2017 – Proponents of mindfulness-based stress reduction claim it can improve relationships, mental health, weight and more. But, one complaint it's unlikely to fix is lower back pain, researchers now say. Lower back pain doesn't respond to the programs, which embrace meditation, heightened self-awareness and exercise, according to a review of seven prior studies. Although short-term improvements were reported, "no clinical significance" was found in terms of overall pain or disability when mindfulness was compared to standard treatment, said study lead author Dennis Anheyer. Anheyer is a psychology research fellow in the faculty of medicine at the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany. About eight out of 10 American adults will experience lower back pain at some point in their lives, according to the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Anxiety and Stress, Obesity, Back Pain, Sciatica, Herniated Disc, Psychiatric Disorders, Scoliosis, Radiculopathy

Healing Hands: Massage May Ease Chronic Back Pain

Posted 15 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, April 14, 2017 – Chronic low back pain can be a challenge to treat, but new research suggests that massage therapy may provide some relief. "Current medical guidelines actually recommend massage therapy prior to the use of opioid medications for lower back pain," explained William Elder, the study's principle investigator. "Yet even with those guidelines, physicians and nurse practitioners are not recommending massage therapy," said Elder. He's with the University of Kentucky's departments of family and community medicine and clinical services. Low back pain is a common problem, and for most people, it's short-lived. But for about 15 percent of people with low back pain, the problem becomes chronic and lasts more than three months, the study authors said. There aren't a lot of effective treatment options for chronic back pain, and physicians often prescribe opioid painkillers ... Read more

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

Chiropractors Not Magicians When It Comes to Chronic Back Pain

Posted 11 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 11, 2017 – Chiropractors can help ease some cases of low back pain, though their treatments may be no better than taking an over-the-counter pain reliever, a new analysis finds. The review of 26 clinical trials found that manipulating the spine can bring "modest" relief to people with acute low back pain – pain that has lasted no more than six weeks. Chiropractors perform spinal manipulation, as do some doctors, physical therapists and other health professionals. Most insurers, Medicare and Medicaid pay for some chiropractic services, according to the American Chiropractic Association. But spinal manipulation is no magic bullet, the researchers behind the new study said. The benefits appear similar to those of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and naproxen. It seems that when it comes to low back pain, no one has found a quick fix. That ... Read more

Related support groups: Back Pain, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Sciatica, Advil, Aleve, Motrin, Scoliosis, Vicoprofen, Naprosyn, Advil PM, Advil Cold and Sinus, Treximet, Vimovo, Naprelan '375', Aleve PM, Naprelan, Duexis, Anaprox, Hydrocodone/Ibuprofen

Music May Soothe the 'Savage Beast' of Post-Op Pain

Posted 7 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, April 7, 2017 – Patients recovering from back surgery often struggle with pain and anxiety, but new research shows that music therapy may help ease their discomfort. Medication is commonly used to manage pain for people who've had surgery to treat a spinal problem. For the new study, researchers from Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City provided 30 patients who'd had spinal fusion surgery with a 30-minute music therapy session within 72 hours of their operation. The therapy included singing, rhythmic drumming and live music. It helped patients relax and eased their tension, the researchers said, adding that the therapy was used in combination with standard care. Another group of 30 spine surgery patients received only standard care after their procedure and didn't receive music therapy. All of the patients in the study were between 40 and 55 years old. "This study is unique in ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Anxiety and Stress, Back Pain, Social Anxiety Disorder, Sciatica, Performance Anxiety, Spinal Cord Trauma

Drug No Better Than Placebo for Lower Back, Leg Pain

Posted 23 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 22, 2017 – The widely prescribed pain drug pregabalin (brand name: Lyrica) may be no better than a placebo when it comes to treating the back and leg pain known as sciatica, a new clinical trial suggests. The study, published March 22 in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that sciatica patients improved to the same degree whether they were given pregabalin or placebo capsules. Sciatica refers to pain that radiates along the sciatic nerve, which branches from the low back through the hips and down each leg, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health. The pain typically shoots down the back of the leg, and some people also have numbness, tingling or muscle weakness. The problem is caused by compression of the sciatic nerve – possibly from a herniated spinal disc. Pregabalin is prescribed to treat various forms of nerve-related pain. In the United ... Read more

Related support groups: Back Pain, Lyrica, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Sciatica, Advil, Aleve, Pregabalin, Motrin, Herniated Disc, Scoliosis, Vicoprofen, Naprosyn, Advil PM, Treximet, Vimovo, Advil Cold and Sinus, Naprelan '375', Naprelan, Aleve PM

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