FROM OUR EXPERTS
Last month, the American Pain Society added to its recommendations to health care providers regarding the diagnosis and treatment of low back pain .
In addition, the Society decided to discuss openly procedures that could be risky to sufferers of low back pain, including recommendations on surgery and other invasive therapies.
Unfortunately, there is not a significant body of good evidence to justify unquestioningly embracing these new recommendations. It is difficult to find well-done clinical studies which support the use of a number of the more invasive treatments used for chronic low back pain.
The initial set of guidelines for the management of chronic low back pain were published in "Annals of Internal Medicine" last October. However, these recommendations dealt more with the initial evaluation of a low back pain patient, and included thoughts on what type of x-rays to order in addition to more conservative treatments such as massage/manipulation and exerci...
How can chronic pain be prevented? Oh that I and the insurance companies knew the answer to that question!
The key is to identify those patients at risk for the development of chronic pain .
Musculoskeletal pain is a significant problem in this country: 85% of the population suffers from this affliction at some point during the employment years. Fortunately, the majority recover rather quickly from acute back pain . It is the 3% to 10% that develop long-term disability due to their chronic pain, which is a deceptively small percentage if one considers that this minority consumes significantly more than 50% of the health care dollars for this problem.
If the chronic pain group could be identified, perhaps an intervention could occur which might avoid the suffering and costs associated with pain and loss of income. Unfortunately, musculoskeletal pain is such a frequent occurrence, it would be prohibitively costly to attempt psychological interventions upon every ...
If you walk into any drug store, mega-box store or sporting goods store, you’ll be sure to find a variety of lumbar supports, back braces and alike. Because these devices are readily accessible, many users grab one off the self before seeking professional advice. That’s not necessarily a good idea because back braces offer a mixed bag of benefits and risks.
Now, strapping on an elastic lumbar support is tempting as a means to relieve pain and keep on going. And for the most part, these medical devices can help to accomplish that goal. The wrap-around support mimics the internal support that supposed to be provided by the abdominal muscles. Because many people have weak core muscles , the extra bracing does help sometimes. It’s probably most helpful in someone with disc degeneration as opposed to someone with lumbar stenosis . And it’s probably most helpful in average-weight individuals that don’t carry a lot of belly fat. Even if you don’t get ...
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