Lower back pain due to Modic changes can be hard to treat and the currently recommended therapy of exercise and staying active often does not help alleviate the pain. Results of a trial, published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Medicine, comparing exercise therapy, and staying active, to daily rest and lumbar support, showed that both treatments resulted in the same small level of improvement in pain, disability, and general health. Modic changes (MC) in the spine, where the bone marrow is infiltrated by serum (fluid), fatty deposits, or by sclerosis, can only be seen using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). It has been suggested that these MC, associated with non-muscular lower back pain, are caused by mechanical stress and therefore might be more responsive to rest than to exercise.
Back problems are a highly prevalent health issue, and people with the condition have a significantly greater chance of retiring early from the workforce, much more so than for any other health condition. A group of Australian researchers reports that not only does early retirement limit the immediate income available to these individuals, but it also reduces their long-term financial capacity, by reducing their ability to accumulate wealth to a significant degree. Their study is published in the January issue of Pain® . "Relative to those who retired early due to other health problems, there are more than twice as many people who have retired early due to back problems who are estimated to have no savings by the time they reach the traditional retirement age of 65, " according to lead investigator Professor Deborah Schofield, PhD, Chair of Health Economics at the NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre and Sydney School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Australia.
One of the largest studies to investigate lumbar spine disc degeneration found that adults who are overweight or obese were significantly more likely to have disc degeneration than those with a normal body mass index (BMI). Assessments using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) show elevated BMI is associated with an increased number of levels of degenerated disks and greater severity of disc degeneration, including narrowing of the disc space. Details of this study now appear in Arthritis & Rheumatism, a journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR). The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that obesity - one of the most preventable risk factors for a number of diseases - has more than doubled since 1980. According to WHO, in 2008 roughly 1.
Even though guidelines for clinical management of patients with low back pain (LBP) encourage health care practitioners to advise patients to remain active and return to work, most practitioners feel that work factors can cause or aggravate LBP and often recommend a 'short break from work' to allow healing. According to a new study published in the December issue of PAIN, practitioners believe that there are some aspects of work that are harmful to patients' recovery and feel that their role in returning patients to work is limited. Lead author Professor Tamar Pincus, PhD explains: "Low back pain is consistently among the top most costly health problems. Back pain has been identified as the second main cause of absenteeism in the UK. Our findings suggest that, despite guidelines that encourage maintaining people at work during episodes of back pain, many clinicians hold a range of beliefs that contradict this advice, and these beliefs can influence their clinical decisions and behaviors.
Guidelines for clinical management of patients with low back pain (LBP) encourage health care practitioners to advise staying active and returning to work. Despite this, most practitioners believe work factors can cause or exacerbate LBP, and a recommendation for a "short break from work" to allow healing is common. A new study in the December issue of Pain by researchers from the Department of Psychology, Royal Holloway, University of London finds that practitioners perceive their role in returning patients to work as limited, and believe that at least some aspects of work are detrimental to patients' recovery. "Low back pain is consistently among the top most costly health problems. Back pain has been identified as the second main cause of absenteeism in the UK. Our findings suggest that, despite guidelines that encourage maintaining people at work during episodes of back pain, many clinicians hold a range of beliefs that contradict this advice, and these beliefs can influence their clinical decisions and behaviors, " explains lead author Professor Tamar Pincus, PhD.