Improper back pain treatment is costing America billions of dollars a year, study says

Dr. Clinton Logue Launches to Teach Sufferers the Insider Secrets to Managing and Preventing Low Back Pain

Theyve been doing that despite earlier research that shows non-narcotic drugs and physical therapy alleviate most back pain within three months, expensive tests and treatment do little in most cases and 43 percent of those with chronic back pain who are on narcotics also have substance-abuse problems. The new findings, by researchers at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, were published in the July 29 issue of JAMA Internal Medicine. Back pain treatment is costly and frequently includes overuse of treatments that are not supported by clinical guidelines and that dont impact outcomes, said Dr. John Mafi, the studys lead author and a fellow and chief medical resident at Beth Israel Deaconess. With health care costs soaring, improvements in the management of back pain represent an area of potential cost savings for the health care system while also improving the quality of care, he said. Thats the big take-away, thats the bottom-line of the paper. The system is to blame for much of the problem, Mafi said. Doctors are given little time for office visits. Theyre not paid to counsel patients on what really works and why. And many receive bonuses if their patients give them high ratings in satisfaction surveys, which patients dont do if they dont get what they want. Patients are part of the problem, too, Mafi said. Many of them demand a quick fix, they dont always take non-narcotic medication properly and they often give up on it too soon.
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Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) treats back pain naturally: Research

The researchers had information on about 24,000 visits, which represented a total of 440 million appointments across the U.S. During that span, they found the proportion of patients prescribed Tylenol and NSAIDs dropped from 37 percent to 25 percent. At the same time, the proportion given narcotics rose from 19 percent to 29 percent. About 11 percent of people with back pain had a CT or MRI scan in 2009 and 2010, compared to seven percent in 1999 and 2000. Finally, although the rate of referrals to physical therapy held steady during the study period, the proportion of patients referred to another doctor – likely for surgery or other treatments – doubled from seven to 14 percent, the researchers reported Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine. “Physicians want to offer patients treatments that are going to work sooner and patients are demanding them and sometimes it’s just easier to order the MRI or order the referral,” Landon said. But, he added, “They often lead to things that are unnecessary and expensive and maybe not better in the long run and maybe even worse,” such as surgery or injections that haven’t proven to be effective. According to the National Institutes of Health, eight out of ten people have back pain at some point in their lives. One of the difficulties of treating back pain, Cohen said, is that there are so many possible causes – including disc, joint and nerve problems. He said the strongest evidence supports treating the pain with exercise, including stretching and some aerobic activity.
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Back pain? 7 ways to strengthen your spine

The all-natural antioxidant compound alpha lipoic acid, also known as ALA, has been shown in a limited subset of trials to help alleviate certain types of chronic lower back pain and restore quality of life, all without causing harmful side effects. A 2009 study published in the International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology, for instance, provides some of the earliest evidence of the potential benefits of ALA in treating nerve damage-related lower back pain. Researchers from Aldo Moro University (AMU) in Italy found that supplementation with ALA in combination with both gamma linolenic acid (GLA), an omega-6 fatty acid, and physical rehabilitation helped alleviate symptoms of radicular neuropathy and restore normal function. After just six weeks of supplementing with 600 milligrams (mg) per day of ALA, in conjunction with 360 mg of GLA and regular exercise-based rehab, patients noticed significant improvements in their paresthesia symptoms, with far fewer sensations of burning and tingling on the skin. This same group reported drastic improvements in quality of life compared to another group treated only with exercise-based rehab. “Oral treatment with alpha lipoic acid (ALA) and gamma linolenic acid (GLA) for six weeks in synergy with rehabilitation therapy improved neuropathic symptoms and deficits in patients with radicular neuropathy,” reported the authors from AMU’s Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Unit and Neurological and Psychiatric Sciences Departments. ALA also shown to help treat general lower back pain More recently, another study on ALA out of the University of Siena, also in Italy, found that the nutrient can help treat general lower back pain symptoms, regardless of their cause. A group of outpatients with varying lower back pain symptoms lasting longer than 12 weeks were given daily doses of ALA with much success. Somewhat similar to the earlier study, outpatients in this study were given a 60-day regimen of ALA at doses of 600 mg/day, in combination with doses of 140 international units (IU) per day of superoxide dismutase (SOD), a powerful antioxidant enzyme. Together, these two powerful nutrients led to a massive ninefold reduction in outpatients’s use of analgesics, or painkiller drugs. “[S]upplementation with alpha lipoic acid (600 mg/d) and superoxide dismutase (140 IU/d) for a period of 60 days was found to be associated with significantly reduced use of analgesics (8 percent of patients still used analgesics post-trial, as compared to 73.5 percent at baseline),” explains the study’s summary. “In addition, according to self-reporting tools, after 40 days of the intervention, perceived pain and functional disabilities significantly improved in a way that was both statistically and clinically significant.” ALA can also be administered intravenously for more potent results Chronic pain that results from any kind of nerve damage is admittedly very difficult to treat using conventional methods, primarily due to the fact that the actual source of pain may not appear to be at all related to where and how it is being manifested. But a 2010 study published in the Netherlands Journal of Medicine found that ALA , when injected, can help mitigate it.
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Back pain treatment often not in line with guidelines

Some back pain can be avoided Getting rid of an achy back Proper posture leads to a taller appearance, deeper breathing, improved well-being and increased energy with enhanced human performance. Deep belly breathing can improve your posture Place your hands on your abdominal area and feel your belly move as you inhale and exhale. Do this as many times a day as possible to improve your posture and overall spinal health. Deep belly breathing enables the spinal nerves to move within the spinal channels, diminishing pain and providing a sense of well-being. Targeted simple exercises can strengthen your core and joints According to the American College of Sports Medicine , exercise is therapeutic. Just 10 minutes per day is all you need to perform some simple spine-strengthening exercises. Neck stretches, including bending and extension range-of-motion exercises, are just a series of simple side-to-side, up-and-down and ear-to-shoulder stretches that can dramatically improve the health of the cervical spine. Using light weights to improve posture and performing some yoga poses like downward dog, which opens up the chest and stretches the spine, can also improve spinal health. Push-ups can strengthen the spinal and postural muscles as well.
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Taking an active role in their own health care is only possible if people have accurate knowledge about what is happening in their body, says Dr. Logue. We believe it is our responsibility to give everyone this insider knowledge. Over the past decade, there have been significant advances in the medical understanding of low back pain. Unfortunately, most of this new treatment information has not filtered down to those who suffer from back pain and many of the health professionals that treat them. This lack of knowledge has resulted in preventable suffering and unnecessary visits to the doctor. Our singular purpose is to help people take control of their recovery from low back pain, explains Dr. Logue. Whether they have just developed low back pain recently or have been struggling with ongoing pain for years, everyone can learn the secrets to improving their low back pain. Studies such as the one conducted by the Clinical Journal of Pain show that close to 85% of the population suffers from at least one episode of back pain at some point in their lives. For those suffering from back pain, has the potential to positively impact their life, says Dr. Nic Lucas, Co-Editor of the International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine and Director of Influence Faculty. It provides tools that help people take control of their pain experience. Its like having their very own pain educator in their pocket. First-time visitors to can take a short initial survey to discover how likely their lower back pain will turn into an ongoing problem.
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Back pain from golf can be avoided

There is a sacroiliac joint on each side of the pelvis. When either of the joints are not fully functioning, as is common in golfers, the pelvis cannot properly bear weight on that side. This condition could be painless at first, but eventually, it may include pain in that joint, the lower back or hips. The improper movement within the SI joint will affect your golf swing. If the SI joint is weak, the golfer will not be able to smoothly complete their backswing, which will decrease the torque the body needs to generate power. This lack of torque and power can cause the ball to fade or slice and ultimately not travel the desired distance. Also, the lack of torque and power from the lower body results in the golfer putting unnecessary strain on their upper body. Once you have addressed the foundation stability and strength, it is time to address the needed flexibility in the thoracic spine. The flexibility is a must to allow the shoulders to rotate quickly enough to create the whip like effect. Adjusting the thoracic spine will not only help with flexibility but it will improve posture and strength which helps create a more consistent golf swing. Chiropractic care will reintroduce proper movement to the spine, improve nervous system function and allow the surrounding muscles to perform to their fullest ability. The combination of chiropractic treatment and core stability training should help you improve your game and keep you free from injury. You are only given one spine in your lifetime, so keep it healthy with adjustments and enjoy this lifelong game of golf. Dr.
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