For years, spine surgeons have debated the best methods for treating scoliosis in adults. Spinal curvature often results in more back pain, leg pain and other symptoms for adults than teens because adults also can have degeneration in the discs between vertebrae, and spinal stenosis — a narrowing of the opening for the spinal nerves. Still, there hasn’t been good evidence regarding whether it’s better for adults with scoliosis to have corrective surgery or whether nonoperative treatment, such as physical therapy or nerve injections, is adequate.
To help answer that question, doctors at nine centers in North America followed more than 200 adults who had discomfort due to lumbar scoliosis — deformities affecting the lower part of the spine. The NIH-funded trial ran from 2010-2017 and is the only government-funded study of spinal deformity in adults.
The research effort — led by spine surgeon Keith H. Bridwell, MD, at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis — found that surgery usually helped patients improve. It helped correct their curvature, and they had less pain. But the researchers also found that those who didn’t have surgery usually did not go on to experience more severe pain or a more extreme spinal deformity during a two-year follow-up period. In fact, they found that the most important factor in deciding whether to operate was the extent of a patient’s disability, and how much that disability interfered with day-to-day life.
Mid back pain or stiffness can have a significant impact on daily life. However, certain stretches can help relieve pain and improve flexibility.
Back pain, especially short-term pain, is one of the most common medical complaints in the United States. A variety of lifestyle factors, medical conditions, and injuries can lead to pain in the middle back.
The answer is likely yes -; especially if you’re a young adult or a woman. “iPad neck” -; persistent pain in the neck and upper shoulders caused by slouching or bending into extreme positions while using tablet computers -; is a growing problem among Americans, according to a new UNLV study. Findings, released last week in The Journal of Physical Therapy Science, show:
“iPad neck,” sometimes called “tablet neck,” is usually associated with sitting without back support, such as on a bench or on the ground, or slumping over the tablet while it rests in the user’s lap. Other postures significantly associated with pain included using tablets while lying on the side or back.
Millions worldwide suffer from chronic musculoskeletal back pain (lasting more than three months). The problem is so big that in the UK alone, it is estimated that 116m days of work are lost, a million hospital appointments are made and five million GP visits are scheduled – just for low back pain.
The physical agony is often not a standalone problem, however. 35% of people who suffer with low back pain are also diagnosed with depression, anxiety and social isolation.
NICE guidelines suggest that chronic back pain sufferers should have physical therapy as part of a broader package of treatment which includes psychological help. But we have been exploring how one single type of osteopathic treatment can be used to treat both the physical and mental conditions.
Imagine a medical condition that becomes worse the more it’s treated – let’s call it Malady X. Millions are spent on expensive therapies, on surgery, injections and pills, yet Malady X continues to strike down the young and the old, and especially the poor.
In less affluent times, Malady X sufferers kept working because they had no choice. In most cases their trouble eventually went away.
But then the world became richer, people exercised less and medicine became more sophisticated. Paradoxically, this has caused Malady X – otherwise known as low back pain – to become a bigger problem.
In fact, it’s now the number-one cause of disability worldwide, with the proportion of global disability due to low back pain doubling in the past 25 years. (In Australia, it causes more disability than lung, bowel and breast cancer combined.)
This course systematically reviews the efficacy, effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, and harms of acupuncture, spinal manipulation, mobilization, and massage techniques in management of back, neck, and/or thoracic pain. In addition, the contraindications and safety profile of the three most prevalent complementary and alternative medicine therapies for back pain in adults compared to that for other complementary and alternative medicine therapies, conventional therapies, placebo, or no treatment will be investigated.
This course provides an overview of dystonia, a disorder characterized by involuntary muscle contractions. The symptoms are different depending upon the form of dystonia. The classifications of dystonia are presented, along with their symptoms. Current treatments for the disorder are reviewed, followed by an update on research being performed.
A study conducted by scientists at the University of Eastern Finland compared the use of personalized physical therapy to a generic exercise program to help affect the functional ability among patients with back pain who had impaired movement control in the lower back.
They suggest that a physical therapy regimen consisting of manual therapy and exercise targeting movement control impairment, rather than the generic exercise program, was more beneficial for such patients.
Treatment results also persisted among the patients at their 12-month follow-up, the researchers add, per a media release from University of Eastern Finland.
Last week, PT in Motion News reported on a new study supporting the idea that initial referral to a physical therapist (PT) for new uncomplicated low back pain (LBP) resulted in lower overall costs and utilization than referral for advanced imaging. Since then, more articles have surfaced that question imaging as a “go to” strategy for the condition.
According to an article in HealthDay News, a March 17 study published in JAMA concludes that for older adults, receiving diagnostic imaging for new back pain not only fails to produce better outcomes but actually tends to increase the costs associated with health care over time.
“Although early imaging is not associated with better pain and function outcomes, it is associated with greater use of health care services, such as visits [and] injections,” study author Jeffrey Jarvik, MD, MPH, is quoted as saying in the HealthDay article, adding that it’s a difference that “translates into a nearly $1,500 per patient additional cost, for no measurable benefit.”
While millions of American men and women will experience lower back pain this year, a little bit of prevention can go a long way to lessen the severity of the pain or even avoid it altogether. Here are some simple steps to better back care:
1. Don’t be a slouch
Mom was right when she told you to sit up straight. Good posture helps minimize chronic back conditions because it strengthens core muscles and can reduce pain. Your stomach and back muscles work in tandem to support your spine.
Strong muscles and flexibility in the lower body area — hips, thighs and pelvic area — is important for good pelvic alignment and support. Take care of your body for less pain.
2. Exercise regularly
Walking, swimming, riding your bike, or even taking a walk around the mall can improve your muscle function. Thirty minutes of walking a day will help improve chronic pain, prevent injury, and offer many other health benefits, such as decreasing your risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, coronary artery disease and many other problems.