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Spinal pain, or back pain, is very common in the Western world. In fact, it affects up to 80 percent of people at least one time in their life. Usually, the pain is nonspecific, not caused by any particular trauma or injury, or there isn't any body part or tissue that has been noticeably injured.Most often, nonspecific back pain goes away after three to 12 months, although most people do end up having more back pain later. And, among those people, an average of 16 percent experience back pain that's bad enough to affect their every day life. This means the majority of people with nonspecific back pain don't usually have any long-term problems and don't even seek medical help.Many studies have been done that have helped doctors understand things like catastrophizing (feeling that things worse than they really are), depression and feeling badly about oneself as a result of chronic pain. It's been found that the amount of psychological distress felt by a patient affects how the patient...
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...
Getting your newly replaced knee joint moving may be easier said than done. Sometimes the knee just stiffens up, frustrating both the patient and provider. It helps to know why the joint is stiff--and what can be done about it. Is it something the patient did, or did something happen during or after surgery to make the knee stiff? Patients themselves may have something to do with it. But these factors are not always in their control. For example, some people naturally form extra scar tissue after an injury or surgery. When this occurs following knee joint replacement, the added scar tissue can cause the knee to become stiff. And a tight knee that isn't moving fully before surgery will have a greater chance of being stiff with limited movement afterward.Patients can control how readily they do their exercises and therapy after surgery. If they choose not to comply, their chances of having stiff knees are greater.Loosen up. Not all problems with stiffness are due to patient factors. Err...
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