Back pain unrelieved by rest may indicate systemic problem
Bruce Jancin writing in Rheumatology News reported that night time back pain or pain unrelieved by rest is a red flag for systemic illness according to Dr. Robert Janson at a symposium sponsored at the University of Colorado. Other red flags include weight loss, fever, sweats, age over 50, low back pain lasting longer than 6 weeks or pain unresponsive to treatment.
Comment: Most low back pain is mechanical in nature and improves over time with proper therapy but 5% of patients have a more serious problem that needs to be identified.
Popular Nerve Pain Medicine Has Little Effect On Back Pain.
Sonja Elmquist writing in Bloomberg News reported that Pfizer Inc.’s best-selling drug, Lyrica (pregabalin), “didn’t help patients with the most common cause of back pain,” severe lumbar spinal stenosis, “any more than a placebo in a small study.” The study’s findings, published in the journal Neurology, casts “doubt on the potential for doctors to expand the medication’s use.” The FDA “has not approved the drug’s use for spinal stenosis,” but Lyrica “and similar medicines are often used to treat lower back pain.”
Comment: I don’t use Lyrica for back pain. It is helpful for peripheral neuropathy and shingles pain though.
So what are the best sexual positions for back pain sufferers? Want to know? Bet you do… next.
Bad back? These are the best sex positions to ease the pain.
Abby Phillip writing for the Washington Post reported a new study out of the University of Waterloo in Canada has some real answers to questions about how to avoid exacerbating (or creating) back pain during sex.
“Spooning had previously been considered a one-position-fits-all for both men and women with back pain,” said Natalie Sidorkewicz, lead author of the study, which will be published in the journal Spine. “That ignores the fact that there are different kinds of back pain triggered by different kinds of movements.”
The Waterloo research team recruited 10 healthy male subjects and 10 healthy female partners. (The couples were outfitted with reflective markers that acted as sensors, similar to what video game animators and visual effects artists use, to model the spine angles used during five different sexual positions. They also monitored how hard muscles worked during sex, and even which muscles were effected by orgasm (more on that later).
The first phase of the study looked closely at male movement in the “spooning,” two variations of the “missionary position,” and two variations of the rear-entry quadruped (also known as “doggy-style”) position. In general, Sidorkewicz advises that in any position, controlling the movement with the hip and knee rather than the spine will be more spine sparing, and for the person not controlling the movement, maintaining a neutral spine is key to reducing lower back strain.
Comment: Well… at least we know that spooning is not the best for everybody.
It’s not often I disagree with findings in a journal but I sometimes do…
Steroid Injections May Provide Little Benefit For Spinal Stenosis Patients.
Pam Belluck writing in the New York Times reported that a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine showed that “a widely used method of treating a common cause of back and leg pain — steroid injections for spinal stenosis — may provide little benefit for many patients.” The research involved “400 patients at 16 sites.”
Comment: The New England Journal is notorious for printing naysaying types of studies and this is one of them. In my experience, lumbar epidural steroid injections often afford relief and definitely should be considered an alternative to surgery.
Got back pain? Think you need to see the doc right away… maybe not…find out why…next
Study Finds Most Recover From Back Pain Whether Or Not They Get Treatment.
Jill Adams writing in the Washington Post reported on a study led by Wolf Mehling, a professor of medicine at the University of California at San Francisco, finding that “most people recover from back pain whether they’re treated medically or not.” In his study, he and colleagues “interviewed 521 people six months after they’d seen doctors for acute back pain; 81 percent of them were completely recovered or much improved, while 16 percent were the same or slightly improved and 3 percent were worse off.”
Comment: Like many medical conditions, not all maladies need immediate treatment.