FROM OUR EXPERTS
A new study published in the July 5 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine found that “massage therapy may be effective for treatment of chronic back pain, with benefits lasting at least 6 months.” I don't usually write much on back pain since that is Dr. Lasich's specialty, but since I've personally experienced improvement in my low back and hip pain from massage therapy, I wanted to share this study with you. Study Design and Results The study looked at 401 people from 20 to 65 years of age who had nonspecific chronic low back pain. They were randomized into three treatment groups:
132 received structural massage – treatment of specific painful soft tissue areas.
136 received relaxation massage – Swedish massage that promotes whole-body relaxation.
133 received usual care – the type of treatment they normally got (mostly medications).
Participants in the massage groups were treated once a week for 10 weeks. After 10 weeks, more than one-third of ...
Some low back patients with acute pain don't get better. They become chronic pain patients. This study shows how the fear of pain more than the pain itself actually predicts who will transition from acute to chronic low back pain (LBP). And fear that is linked with pain is also linked with restricted physical movement. In the end the acute LBP patient sees himself as more disabled than he really is based on pain-related fear. The authors came to these conclusions by studying 96 men and women with acute LBP. Each one lifted a 15- pound bag from the floor to a table. Then the bag was lifted off the table and set on the floor again. The number of times the bag was lifted and the total lifting time were recorded. The authors make note of the fact that the average adult would not have any trouble lifting 15 pounds repeatedly. But someone with back pain may feel threatened by the task. Before starting the lifting task each person filled out several forms. The surveys asked questions about age...
“Sciatica” is an old world term that refers to leg pain felt down the back of the thigh into the calf and foot. What about thigh pain? What about buttock pain? Unfortunately, “sciatica” has been wrongly applied to all types and locations of leg pain. In 1948, the use of the word “sciatica” was declared “unhelpful” by a leading orthopedic specialist because it is limited to a certain location and really does not address the origin of the pain. Over the years, many older medical terms like sciatica have become archaic as the newer research technologies give doctors clearer definitions and a better understanding of the human body. Leg pain that comes from the low back is most accurately categorized as referred pain or neurogenic pain. These terms apply to all locations and address the origin of the pain. With these newer terms, the antiquated word, “sciatica”, has no place in the modern world. Sally has been waking up with right ...
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