Chronic back pain can lead to chronic painkiller use but it appears that if you live in Alabama you’re more likely to be prescribed opioid drugs than if you live in a northern state. A new analysis carried out by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that for every 100 Americans there were 82.5 prescriptions written for opioid painkillers in 2012. In Alabama it was 143 scripts per 100 people. Why the disparity, and why should those with chronic back pain care? Continue reading “Hooked On Painkillers – How Some States in the US Are Overcoming Their Nasty Drug Habit” »
Almost everyone suffers from back pain at some point in their life and for many of us this means popping a painkiller or two and just getting on with things. After all, this is the general advice given by physicians, with acetaminophen the first choice for pain relief. However, there is no real evidence base for this recommendation; acetaminophen is simply preferred over non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs because it has a slightly better safety profile. Continue reading “Acetaminophen Probably Won’t Help Your Back Pain, New Study Says” »
Cycling is often a great way for low back pain sufferers to stay active and soak up some sun!
Make hay while the sun shines, or so the saying goes. Spinal stenosis sufferers might want to consider the alternative phrasing of ‘make vitamin D while the sun shines’ as research suggests that a deficiency of vitamin D is linked to increased pain and worse prognosis for spinal stenosis. Interestingly, however, women who undergo back surgery for lumbar spinal stenosis actually enjoyed increased vitamin D levels after their procedure. What’s the link between vitamin D and back pain? Let’s take a look. Continue reading “Vitamin D Deficiency and Spinal Stenosis – Cause or Effect?” »
There are myriad causes of lower back pain but one issue that you might not suspect is prostate cancer. In older men both prostate problems and lower back pain are common and so it can be difficult to determine if one is connected to the other.
Regular check-ups are, of course, recommended and anyone with signs of prostate infection or enlargement should seek medical attention immediately. Continue reading “Lower Back Pain in Men – Is it Time to Check Your Prostate?” »
There are many medications that can be prescribed for neuropathic pain and, unfortunately, such drugs can carry a risk of certain side effects. Gabapentin (Neurontin) is an anti-seizure medication that is approved for use in treating nerve pain and, typically, a doctor will make a judgement call about the risk-benefit ratio for gabapentin for spinal stenosis pain. Continue reading “Side Effects of Gabapentin for Spinal Stenosis Nerve Pain” »
Patients who have chronic kidney disease face increased risk of bone loss, including a loss of bone density in the spine that may contribute to spinal stenosis. Unfortunately, normal tests for bone mineral density (BMD) using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) appears to be unhelpful in determining the risk of osteoporosis and bone loss in the spine, so what’s the alternative and what can patients with CKD do to boost bone health? Continue reading “Chronic Kidney Disease and Bone Loss in the Spine” »
Vitamin C is typically seen as the supplement we turn to when trying to get rid of or avoid a nasty cold but could this essential nutrient also be involved in the development and progression of spinal stenosis? Read on to find out how getting enough vitamin C could help with your back pain and why smokers in particular need to carefully monitor their nutrient levels. Continue reading “Is Too Little Vitamin C to Blame for Your Back Pain?” »
For hundreds of years there have been references to the hunch-backed appearance of King Richard III of England but up until now it wasn’t known if this was imaginative licence or based on facts. Following the unearthing in 2012 of the king’s skeleton, scientists have now confirmed that Richard III had scoliosis, or spinal curvature, and a significant case at that, but would it actually have caused the degree of deformity some claim? Continue reading “Tests Confirm Richard III had Scoliosis” »
At first glance you might not think that there’s a connection between antacid medications and spinal stenosis but when you consider how protein pump inhibitors and other antacids can affect nutrient absorption the link becomes clearer.
Osteoporosis can be a cause of spinal narrowing and resultant back pain, neck pain, leg pain, sciatica, and paraesthesia, weakness and other symptoms of spinal stenosis and ensuring proper calcium absorption is key to staving off this bone-thinning disease so are your antacids and back pain connected and what can you do about it? Continue reading “Antacids, Osteoporosis and Spinal Stenosis” »