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...
Starting a little less than a year ago, I would walk my father’s miniature Schnauzer, Austin, as well as my terrier mix, Noel. Each dog weighed about 20 pounds, walked rapidly while following their nose, and did not have strong obedience training (which means that they pulled while on the leash). While they loved the walks, I ended up paying the ultimate price last spring with lower back pain.
So I was very interested in a Houston Chronicle column by Dr. Michael Roizen and Dr. Mehmet Oz entitled, “Back Hurt? Check Your Attitude.” The good doctors noted that people who are older than 30 years of age tend to have had or will have lower back pain due to improper posture while driving and working on computers. However, they suggest that your attitude can affect the status of your back. “What you think will happen next – healthy recovery or chronic pain – dramatically affects what will happen. The more optimistic and can-do your mind-s...
Leg pain, arm pain, and even headaches can all be referred from the facet joints in the spine. These small joints connect each vertebral body. Like other joints in the body, the facet joints can wear out and develop arthritis (inflammation of a joint characterized by swelling and pain). Facet arthritis pain can refer to distant parts of the body as discussed in the article called “Sciatica: What is it?” If the source of this traveling pain is targeted, then vast swaths of pain can disappear. The newest invasive treatment actually targets the medial branch nerve that acts like a telephone line for the facet joint pain. When that line is cut, the pain signals from the joint cannot get through to the brain. The “cut” is actually a burn in the nerve. In other words, the nerve is ablated by radiofrequency heat—called Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA). Because the nerve can repair itself, this intentional injury is just a temporary disruption of the referred pain.
You should knowAnswers to your question are meant to provide general health information but should not replace medical advice you receive from a doctor. No answers should be viewed as a diagnosis or recommended treatment for a condition. Content posted by community members does not necessarily reflect the views of Remedy Health Media, which also reserves the right to remove material deemed inappropriate.