Raise your right hand if you are taking a cholesterol-lower medication like Crestor or Lipitor. Now, raise your left hand if you have chronic pain. Those of you with both hands in the air should listen up. Cholesterol-lowering medications can cause pain and Lipitor is the most prescribed drug in America . Yikes! Now ask yourself these questions: did the pain start within a year or two of starting the offending drug? Did the pain get worse within a year or two of starting the offending drug? If you answered yes to either of these questions, you may need to reconsider your use of a medication that causes pain.
Crestor, Lipitor, Zocor, Pravachol, Mevacor; this group of drugs are generally called the "statins" because the generic name of these drugs that lower cholesterol ends in "statin". These medications have the potential to cause serious muscle problems including muscle pain. The most serious problem is called rhabdomyolysis which means that the muscles literally start to disin...
One of the most common problems seen in a primary care medical practice is low back pain. It accounts for more discomfort, lost work and productivity, and frustration for many patients than any other malady. Some think it is the price we, as humans, pay for walking upright. The lower back is a complex structure made of bone, muscles, connective tissue and nerves that, along with our legs, hold us erect, allow us to bend, run, twist, catch a football, or just lay down and rest. However, once a problem arises, the complexity of its structure makes pain in the lower back difficult to diagnose and treat. The lower back consists of a spinal column from the lumbar region of the mid-back down to the tail bone or coccyx. The spinal column consists of 5 lumbar vertebrae which are cylindrical bony structures with a ring like component behind the cylinder also made of bone. In between the vertebrae are disc shaped cushions filled with a gelatinous central core known as the nucleus pulposis
If I had an episode of lower back pain, am I always going to be more likely to have lower back pain in the future?
It is true that once you have an episode of lower back pain or shooting leg pain, you are probably more likely to have it in the future - if you do nothing. But you are not going to "do nothing."
I see a lot of patients with lower back pain and shooting leg pain. Once we work together to resolve the pain, a very common question and concern that is raised is whether the pain is likely to return. A typical example is the following: Mr. X comes in with lower back pain that shoots into the right leg all the way to the foot. MRI reveals a herniated disc at L5-S1 level. After an injection, the pain is 90% better. Next, Mr. X starts physical therapy. Six we...
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