FROM OUR EXPERTS
Back pain - nonspecific
The majority of nonspecific back pain is probably caused by muscle strain. This usually responds to 2-5 days of rest and pain medications (such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents -- ibuprofen, naproxen, aspirin, etc.), followed by gradual return to activities. Medications may be needed to reduce muscle spasms.
Physical therapy is often prescribed to instruct the patient on proper body mechanics (such as good posture and lifting correctly) and to improve strength and flexibility in the spine, abdomen, and legs.
Surgery is not useful for the treatment of nonspecific back pain.
Most cases of nonspecific back pain resolve on their own or respond to treatment. It is helpful to sleep on a firm mattress, with a board under the mattress, or even on the floor. Heat or ice applied to the affected area may provide some relief.
In this study, researchers from the Gait and Posture Lab at the University of Montreal in Canada compare walking patterns between patients who had a total hip replacement versus a surface replacement arthroplasty . An earlier study by Mont et al comparing these two groups reported a slower walking speed and decreased muscle force in the hip abductor muscle of the hip. Results for the patients in the previous study were reported for six to 18 months after surgery. The effects of different implants on gait pattern were measured six to eight months after surgery in this study. The authors thought that a tighter time frame might give them a better way to compare these two patient groups. Hip joint resurfacing was introduced several years ago to help younger patients who are more active and who would likely dislocate or wear out a total hip replacement. Surgeons found a way to replace the surface of the joint without removing the bone and replacing the entire joint. Bone is saved because the...
The person with the most replaced parts wins and now the joint replacement race does not stop with hips, knees or shoulders. Spinal discs are the latest “joints” to undergo a technology overhaul. Disc replacement surgery, also known as disc arthroplasty, is on the minds of millions who have disc degeneration. These worn out parts of the spine generate an avalanche of problems. So why not exchange them for new ones? Donald has been so worried about his mother’s failing back. Nothing seems to be helping her. One of his friends told him about a new surgical implant that replaces the worn out discs in the spine. Wow! That might give his mother a brand new back and a brand new lease on life. Two years ago, she had her hip replaced. Within months of that surgery, she was back to ballroom dancing. If joint replacement worked for her hip, surely it could work for her back. Great, he calls his mom to share the news. Not so fast, the treatment of spinal disc degeneration is not...
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