Up to half a million patients with chronic low back pain may be suffering from an infection that can be treated with antibiotics.
If proved true, the revolutionary theory about the cause of one of the commonest and most debilitating ailments should win its discoverer the Nobel Prize, one surgeon said today.
However, the paper describing the research based on just 162 patients was turned down by the leading medical journals such as the Lancet and BMJ. It was published today in the European Spine Journal.
Researchers claim the treatment could be suitable for up to 40% of patients with severe, long term pain for whom the only alternative is surgery.
However, it is not as simple as replacing the painkillers with antibiotics. The treatment requires an MRI scan to detect distinctive “Modic” changes in the spinal column – named after the doctor who first observed them in the late 1980s – which are indicative of bacterial infection. Continue reading Antibiotics could “Cure 40% of Chronic Low Back Pain”.
This was the message from CSP fellow Dr Mick Thacker, director of the ‘Pain: Science and Society’ MSc course at King’s College London.
Giving a keynote lecture, Dr Thacker advised delegates to move away from purely mechanical-based therapies for back pain patients, and become more aware of the role of neuro-immnunology in relation to pain.
BACK pain has a mysterious link with brain damage. Brain scans have shown that patients with chronic lower back pain have lost grey matter from two brain areas. Scientists are not yet sure whether this is the cause of back pain or the result, but the finding could lead to new drug treatments for backache that target the brain rather than the back or spine.
The discovery was made by Vania Apkarian of Northwestern University in Chicago, when he and his colleagues scanned the brains of 26 patients who had suffered lower back pain for at least a year. Some had damage to their sciatic nerve, which emerges at the base of the spine, while the others had no known injury. The team found that all the patients had lost grey matter in two brain regions known to be important in pain perception. Continue reading Back Pain linked to shrinking Brain
THE first comprehensive model of the human spine is challenging our assumptions about the causes of back pain. Contrary to the idea that spinal injuries are caused by a combination of compression, bending, tension and shear forces, the 3D animated model suggests many injuries are the result of quick twists of the vertebrae, making the joints between them rotate.
Nick Beagley and Vladimir Ivancevic of the Defence Science and Technology Organisation in Edinburgh, South Australia, have spent the past 18 months developing their mathematical model, called the Full Spine Simulator (FSS). Existing models of the spine evaluate forces placed on a single joint, or a simple series of joints, and allow each just a few degrees of freedom. But the FSS represents all 25 movable joints of the spine, and gives each its full six degrees of freedom. Continue reading Can Twisting cause the Agony of Back Pain?
Trigger Points are a frequent cause of Muscular Pain.
People often talk of a “Trapped Nerve” when describing the pain they experience from a Trigger Point. The Pain can be excruciating, and left untreated, they can cause months of unrelenting Pain.
Treating a Trigger Point requires precision. Firstly to detect it, and then to accurately Needle it with an Acupuncture Needle. The relief is normally immediate, although an ache may linger for 24 hours after treatment.
I have used Acupuncture to treat Trigger Points very successfully. When a person does not like Needles, Deep Massage can be used. This helps greatly, but is not as effective as Acupuncture.
Patient: Man 36 years Occupation: Joiner Pain: 7/10
Complaint: Sudden onset of Low Back Pain and Sciatica while lifting at work 3 days earlier.
Treatment: No treatment was given at the first consultation, as the condition was too painful and inflamed – Treatment would have made the condition worse at this stage. The patient was instructed to rest at home for 3 days and take analgesics.