Steps to Prevent Backaches in Office

Back Pain No Responses »
Oct 262011

Colin Natali emphasised on maintaining a good posture while sitting, which can be obtained by getting an ergonomic chair or assessment which generally looks at the seat height, elbow angle and armrest height.

It is vital to also look into the Low back support. Natali has suggested pushing the bottom against the back of the chair, which will help preventing pelvis from rotating backwards. There may be a lumbar support inbuilt in the chair, if not, a cushion will help maintain the curve of the spine and prevent the person from slumping.

Eye level is also one important consideration, which should be kept in mind. The head should be held upright to follow the curve of the spine. This is important as the average human head weighs between 10 to 12 pounds.

However, if a person is constantly bending his head forward to look down at the screen, then he can be exerting as much as 30 pounds of pressure on his neck and upper spine. This will minimise the likelihood of neck pain.

Finally, no matter how comfortable a person is in his chair, prolonged sitting in front of your computer is not good for the spine generally and is a well-known cause for neck and back problems.

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Low Back Pain can be Combated by Yoga and Stretching

Back Pain No Responses »
Oct 262011

The findings, described by authors as the largest US randomized trial on yoga to date, appear in the October 24 issue of the Archives on Internal Medicine, a journal of the American Medical Association.

“We found yoga classes more effective than a self-care book — but no more effective than stretching classes,” said lead study author Karen Sherman, a senior investigator at Group Health Research Institute in Seattle.

“We expected back pain to ease more with yoga than with stretching, so our findings surprised us,” she said.

The same group of researchers conducted a smaller trial in 2005 based on a randomized sample of 101 adults. That study suggested yoga was the best remedy for back pain because those who practiced it used fewer pain relievers and had better back function.

The latest data is derived from a sample of 228 people across six cities in the western state of Washington, and while it showed a slight lead by the yoga class, the difference was not enough to matter statistically.

The subjects were assigned to 12 weekly classes that lasted 75 minutes each.

The yoga was a type known as viniyoga, which features poses adapted for the individual condition of those in the class, breathing exercises and a deep relaxation period. Classes were taught by instructors with more than 500 hours of training.

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New Way to Beat Crippling Back Pain Sans Surgery Discovered by Brit Spinal Surgeon

Back Pain No Responses »
Oct 192011

Colin Natali is the founder of Back2normal, a private clinic that treats back pain with a combination of physiotherapy and spine-strengthening machinery.

“Back problems are so prevalent and, at their most debilitating, they can wreck your life,” the Daily Express quoted him as saying.

“Usually, by the time patients come to me they’re in a pretty bad way. They’ve had painkillers, seen their GP and visited physiotherapists, osteopaths and chiropractors.

“Nothing has worked and they feel that the only option left is surgery.

“It sounds perverse coming from a surgeon but it’s better not to have an operation if possible – it really should be the last resort – and ultimately, most of my patients don’t need one.

“The specialised equipment at Back2normal is world renowned technology that helps all kinds of back and neck problems such as whiplash, prolapsed discs and lower back pain.

“Each patient has an assessment with a physiotherapist, who diagnoses which muscles need strengthening. The machines are then programmed with a series of exercises designed to work on these muscles.

“As well as physical benefits, it promotes psychological well-being: people see that, in fact, they can do all this stuff.

“Most patients need just six weeks of treatment and even the most severe cases take around 18 weeks,” he added.


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Treatment of Back Pain may be More Clinical as Well as Cost-Effective If Stratified Approach is Used

Back Pain No Responses »
Oct 152011

The use of a stratified approach in the treatment of
back pain has been suggested.  Using this approach, patients are treated
according to the likely outcome or prognosis of the condition.
  In this system of treatment, patients are
categorized into low, medium and high risk groups depending on the likely
prognosis, and are treated according to different modalities or pathways. 

The stratified
approach will possibly ensure better and more effective treatment to all types
of patients
.  If this practice is not followed, there
could be unnecessary excessive treatment in the low–risk group patients, which
could definitely spike up the cost of treatment.  On the other hand, it could also result in lesser than required
treatment in the medium and high-risk groups and consequently less relief of
pain and more chances of suffering from disability.

In a recently
published study, researchers compared two approaches to treatment of patients
with back pain.  The patients were
divided into two groups – one in which a stratified approach to treatment was
being followed, and the second, which was being treated by the non-stratified
approach that is usually followed in clinical practice.  The cost effectiveness of the two approaches
was also studied

A total of 851 patients with back pain were included
in the study.  Their mean age was 50
years and they did not suffer from any serious ailments.

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Exercise, Not Rest, Helps Cure Long-term Back Pain

Back Pain No Responses »
Sep 242011

Patricia Olaya-Contreras, a researcher of the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, randomly advised 109 patients to either “stay active even though it hurts” or “adjust your activity to the pain”.

The results showed that the active group recovered more quickly and did not feel depressed.

“If you don’t keep moving, it’s easy to get locked into a downward spiral,” the Daily Express quoted Olaya-Contreras as saying.


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Bioengineered Spinal Disc Implants to Battle Back Pain

Back Pain No Responses »
Aug 022011

Lawrence Bonassar, Ph.D., associate professor of biomedical engineering and mechanical engineering, and Roger Härtl, M.D., associate professor of neurosurgery at Weill Cornell Medical College and chief of spinal surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, have created bioengineered spinal discs that have been successfully implanted and tested in animals.

The other scientists on the paper are Robby Bowles, Cornell Ph.D. ’11, and Harry Gebhard, M.D., of Weill Cornell Medical College.

Their research will be published online Aug. 1, 2011 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“We’ve engineered discs that have the same structural components and behave just like real discs,” says Bonassar. “The hope is that this promising research will lead to engineered discs that we can implant into patients with damaged discs.”

Each year, 40 percent to 60 percent of American adults suffer from chronic back or neck pain. For patients diagnosed with severe degenerative disc disease, or herniated discs, neurosurgeons perform surgery called discectomy — removing the spinal disc — followed by a fusion of the vertebrate bones to stabilize the spine. In spite of the surgery, the patient’s back will likely not feel the same as before their injury.

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New Technique Captures Brain Activity in Patients With Back Pain

Back Pain No Responses »
Jul 282011

“This study is a first step towards providing tools to objectively describe someone’s chronic pain which is a subjective experience. We’ve found that when a patient has worsening of their usual pain, there are changes in the activity of the brain,” said Ajay Wasan, MD, MSc, lead author of the paper and a researcher in the Pain Management Center at BWH. “These changes occur in the network of areas in the brain that process pain and mood.”

Researchers compared 16 patients with chronic low back pain (CLBP) to 16 healthy subjects. Participants underwent three imaging sessions. The first was for a characterization and training session. During the second session, researchers used clinical maneuvers, such as pelvic tilting or straight leg raising , to temporarily exacerbate back pain. In the third session, heat was applied to the skin at an intensity that matched the pain levels during the second session. Patients rated their pain levels before and after the sessions and after each stimulation during the sessions.

During the last two sessions, researchers used the arterial spin labeling technique, which allows them to quantify the blood flow to specific regions of the brain over time. The amount of blood flow is indicative of neuron activity in that region of the brain. They found that there was increased activity in the brain of CLBP patients only when they experienced a worsening of their chronic pain and not during the heat pain session or in the healthy participants. Researchers also note that some of the areas of the brain that were activated when participants experienced a worsening of chronic pain have been shown to be associated with other types of pain found in other studies. However, researchers also observed activation of some areas, including the superior parietal lobule, which have been less frequently associated with pain in previous research.

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Genes Play Key Role in Back Pain

Back Pain No Responses »
Jul 082011

The team’s research shows genetics play a key role in lower back pain and the deterioration of intervertebral discs of the spine as well.

More surprisingly, Prof. Livshits says, lower back pain and disk degeneration do not always overlap, and are caused by different genetic factors.

Prof. Livshits and his team looked at a sample twin population of 2,500 individuals, comprising both identical and non-identical female twins. They tested for several potential risk factors, such as smoking, weight, physical work, vertebral disc degeneration disease as well as genetic predisposition.

In non-identical twins who share half of their genetic make-up, patients were almost three times more likely to suffer from back pain if their twin did so as well. In identical twins, who share all of their genes, the patient was six times more likely to have joint disease if their twin experienced the same joint disease.

This discovery could revolutionize the study and treatment of back pain, says Prof. Livshits.

The study was recently published in the journal Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.


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Massage may Relieve Lower Back Pain

Back Pain No Responses »
Jul 072011

A third of them received relaxation massages, while another third were subject to structural massages. The remaining in the group received standard care which was medication and physical therapy. 

After 10 weeks of massage, researchers found that patients who underwent the massage  treatment reported marked improvement in pain and function. 

The findings show that treatment for lower back pain employing massage did bring relief to patients, but this cannot form a blanket solution for everyone.


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Genetic Study Promises Effective Back Pain Treatment

Back Pain No Responses »
Jul 062011

New research from Prof. Gregory Livshits of Tel Aviv University’s Department of Anatomy and Anthropology at the Sackler Faculty of Medicine, however, shows that genetics are a major contributing factor to this pain — and common back pain complaints may have different genetic origins. The results of their study can help identify the different mechanisms involved in back pain and lead to more effective treatment options.

The research, pursued in collaboration with a team of scientists at Kings College, London led by Prof. Tim Spector and Dr. Fran Williams, was recently published in the journal Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

Identical twins, identical pains

Our two-footed anatomy causes strain and subsequent deterioration of the muscular skeletal system, as do factors such as weight or physical exertion. The team’s research shows genetics play a key role in lower back pain and the deterioration of intervertebral discs of the spine as well. More surprisingly, Prof. Livshits says, lower back pain and disk degeneration do not always overlap, and are caused by different genetic factors.

Preliminary testing done in Israel more than 10 years ago gave scientists their first clue to the connection between genetics and back pain. A study conducted on Arabic families revealed recurring patterns of lower back pain in family members — many relatives of the same family would develop the same symptoms, even at a young age.

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