Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) relieve pain and inflammation and include OTC formulations (ibuprofen, ketoprofen, and naproxen sodium). Several others, including a type of NSAID called COX-2 inhibitors, are available only by prescription. Long-term use of NSAIDs has been associated with stomach irritation, ulcers, heartburn, diarrhea, fluid retention, and in rare cases, kidney dysfunction and cardiovascular disease. The longer a person uses NSAIDs the more likely they are to develop side effects. Many other drugs cannot be taken at the same time a person is treated with NSAIDs because they alter the way the body processes or eliminates other medications.
Although disc degeneration is expected from around age 30 years onward, heredity plays more of a role in disc degeneration. According to, Dr. Lederman, “Research has demonstrated in twins that as much as 47–66 percent of spinal degeneration is due to heredity.”
Nucleoplasty, also called plasma disc decompression (PDD), is a type of laser surgery that uses radiofrequency energy to treat people with low back pain associated with mildly herniated discs. Under x-ray guidance, a needle is inserted into the disc. A plasma laser device is then inserted into the needle and the tip is heated to 40-70 degrees Celsius, creating a field that vaporizes the tissue in the disc, reducing its size and relieving pressure on the nerves. Several channels may be made depending on how tissue needs to be removed to decompress the disc and nerve root.
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If someone feels less pain after a chiropractic visit, it’s usually the result of a rush of endorphins, which eventually run out, Ramin said in a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation radio interview. Typically, the pain returns. If it doesn’t, there’s a chance a person would have had the same outcome without care.
Mental health factors: Pre-existing mental health issues such as anxiety and depression can influence how closely one focuses on their pain as well as their perception of its severity. Pain that becomes chronic also can contribute to the development of such psychological factors. Stress can affect the body in numerous ways, including causing muscle tension.
^ French, SD.; Cameron, M.; Walker, BF.; Reggars, JW.; Esterman, AJ. (2006). Superficial heat or cold for low back pain. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (1): CD004750. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD004750.pub2. PMID 16437495.
“People in pain are poor decision-makers,” says the investigative journalist Cathryn Jakobson Ramin, author of a new book, Crooked: Outwitting the Back Pain Industry and Getting on the Road to Recovery.
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Accidents and sports injuries are the most common causes of chronic back pain. But sometimes, even simple activities or movements – like bending over to pick up an object from the floor – can trigger pain.
According to a study published in the journal Anesthesiology, a new high-frequency form of spinal cord stimulation therapy has the capacity to deliver more effective pain relief without any unwanted side effects.
This is a picture of my vegetable garden box 10 x 6-feet in size. The dirt is 2 feet above ground. When you stand on the ground with a shovel in the dirt 2 feet above you and try to dig or turn over the soil, you can compress your lower discs. I did it! So, off to the chiropractor I went. I was put on my front side to have the table decompress my lower lumbar area. It felt good, and I had things to do for myself at home now and I continue with my own therapy saving me money and time.
That principle applies equally to chronic and acute low back pain cases, but it may be especially crucial for people whose pain lingers. In 2016 another group of Sydney researchers and their colleagues scoured the available literature and found that exercise was the only treatment approach studied to date that prevented the recurrence of lower back pain. Reviewing the evidence, the team concluded that exercise and education together could cut the risk for another attack of back pain within the year by nearly one half.
On any given day, almost 2% of the entire US work force is disabled by back pain. In people under 40 years of age, back pain is the most common reason for the inability to perform daily tasks. It also is the direct cause of enormous healthcare expenses, with estimates as high as $60 billion annually.
Also, improving the quality and efficiency of how you move versus just improving strength can help you to avoid overusing your back. In other words, exercise technique and form matters, especially if you have LBP.
A surprising 2012 study in The Spine Journal found that cumulative or repetitive loading with higher-than-normal body mass (nearly 30 pounds on average) was not harmful to the subjects’ lumbar discs. In fact, a slight delay in L1-L4 disc degeneration was observed in the heavier men, as compared with their slimmer counterparts.
Injury to the bones and joints: Fractures (breakage of bone) of the lumbar spine and sacrum bone most commonly affect elderly people with osteoporosis, especially those who have taken long-term cortisone medication. For these individuals, occasionally even minimal stresses on the spine (such as bending to tie shoes) can lead to bone fracture. In this setting, the vertebra can collapse (vertebral compression fracture). The fracture causes an immediate onset of severe localized pain that can radiate around the waist in a band-like fashion and is made intensely worse with body motions. This pain generally does not radiate down the lower extremities. Vertebral fractures in younger patients occur only after severe trauma, such as from motor-vehicle accidents or a convulsive seizure.
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Sciatica pain radiates from the lower back toward the feet. Sciatica may feel like a cramp in the leg, burning, tingling, pins and needles, or numbness. Learn about sciatica causes, exercises, treatment and pain relief.
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Electromyogram or EMG is a test that involves the placement of very small needles into the muscles. Electrical activity is monitored. Its use is usually reserved for more chronic pain and to predict the level of nerve root damage. The test is also able to help the doctor distinguish between nerve root disease and muscle disease.
^ a b Steffens D, Maher CG, Pereira LS, Stevens ML, Oliveira VC, Chapple M, Teixeira-Salmela LF, Hancock MJ (January 2016). Prevention of Low Back Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA Internal Medicine. 176: 1–10. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.7431. PMID 26752509.