Move over, boy bands of America - there's a new group in town. Four middle-school students from Carmel Valley Middle School in San Diego, California, entered The Christopher Columbus Awards Competition, a science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) program that challenges middle-school students to identify a community problem and solve it using science and technology. Taking a cue from the popular group the Backstreet Boys, the students call themselves the Back Straight Boys. The Boys took first place nationally and are presenting their study at the upcoming Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 55th Annual Meeting at the Red Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. After experiencing firsthand the discomfort that computer use can cause, Sean Colford, Ethan Epstein, Brandon Loye, and Michael Walsh, now in their freshman year at Canyon Crest Academy in San Diego, decided to study improper posture at computer workstations and the consequent musculoskeletal problems among children and adults in classrooms and offices.
A common complaint, back pain is one of the many side effects of aging. Over three quarters of the population experience it at some point, and until now, researchers have had little conclusive proof of the causes and mechanisms of the pain. 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.
Low back pain is one of the most common reasons patients see a physician. Massage therapy is frequently used as an alternative treatment for chronic low back pain, but there is limited evidence as to its effectiveness. According to a new study, massage may be more effective than usual medical interventions for improving pain and function in patients with chronic low back pain. Researchers studied 401 patients aged 20 to 65 years with nonspecific chronic low back pain to compare the effectiveness of either relaxation or structural massage versus usual care. Patients were surveyed about their symptoms and ability to perform daily activities and then randomly assigned to receive relaxation massage, structure massage (a massage focused on correcting soft-tissue abnormalities), or usual treatment with no massage.
Endo Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ENDP) announced topline results from a phase 2 study comparing the novel investigational drug axomadol against placebo in the treatment of patients with moderate to severe chronic low back pain. The results indicate that axomadol did not meet predetermined study end points. The company is currently completing additional analyses of the data and evaluating the path forward for the program. The study was a randomized, double blind, two-arm, placebo-controlled, parallel group design and included 236 patients with moderate to severe chronic low back pain. Axomadol was orally administered at doses ranging from 100 mg/day to 300 mg/day over a four-week period with a 12-week maintenance phase. The primary outcome measure was change in average pain intensity using a Numerical Rating Scale (NRS) from baseline to final week of treatment for all patients receiving at least one dose of study drug.
Massage therapy helps ease chronic low back pain and improve function, according to a randomized controlled trial that the Annals of Internal Medicine will publish in its July 5 issue. The first study to compare structural and relaxation (Swedish) massage, the trial found that both types of massage worked well, with few side effects. "We found that massage helps people with back pain to function even after six months, " said trial leader Daniel C. Cherkin, PhD, a senior investigator at Group Health Research Institute. Better function means they are more able to work, take care of themselves, and be active. "This is important because chronic back pain is among the most common reasons people see doctors and alternative practitioners, including massage therapists, " Dr. Cherkin added.