Health & Safety

February 14, 2014

Get doc’s opinion on how to treat low back pain

Low back pain is number one in the top ten diagnoses seen by providers at the 56th Medical Group.

There are two classifications of back pain: Acute back pain, which lasts up to 12 weeks in duration, or chronic back pain, which lasts more than 12 weeks. Approximately 98 percent of acute low back pain events can be attributed to soft tissue injuries involving the muscles, fascia and ligaments. This type of pain is self-limiting and usually resolves itself within a few weeks. Only 2 percent of back pain diagnoses are linked to underlying conditions such as metastatic cancer, spinal osteomyelitis, herniated discs or trauma in which nerve damage can be involved.

The American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society did an extensive review of clinical studies to determine the best approach to treating low back pain. Here are their recommendations:

•Doctors should use a patient’s history and the results of a physical examination to determine whether that patient’s low back pain is musculoskeletal, associated with nerve damage or potentially related to another serious condition.

•Doctors should not order X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, or other tests unless they suspect nerve damage or a specific cause of the low back pain that would show up on the test.

•Doctors and patients should discuss the expected course of low back pain, the importance of remaining active, and self-care options, such as heating pads, special mattresses and exercise.

•They should also consider acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs along with self care.

•Doctors and patients should consider the following nondrug treatments for patients who do not respond to self-care: rehabilitation, spinal manipulation, exercise therapy, massage, acupuncture, yoga, progressive relaxation or cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Imaging for acute lower back pain has limited benefits and is not needed for diagnosis. It is only warranted if there are red flags that point to a more serious condition on examination.

The primary goal in treating acute low back pain is to reduce the pain to a manageable level in order to facilitate the healing process and rehabilitation. Resolution of symptoms takes time. It may seem counterintuitive, but evidence demonstrates that continued activity improves function and that bed rest is rarely recommended.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen are usually the drugs of choice for low back pain. Most NSAIDS are sold over the counter. Acetaminophen or Tylenol is another drug effective in relieving back pain.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
5-Heart

Your heart in good hands

An electrocardiogram machine monitors a heartbeat Sept. 9 at Luke Air Force Base. The 56th Medical Operations Squadron Cardiopulmonary Clinic offers diagnostic testing and management of cardio or pulmonary diseases. As one walk...
 
 

Street Beat

The 56th Security Forces Squadron handled the following incidents Sept. 8 through 14: Tickets Security forces issues citations for 14 moving violations and two nonmoving violations. Traffic-related incidents Sept. 8: Security forces responded to a report of a two-vehicle accident near Bldg. 1550. Driver one struck driver two when trying to make a U-turn to...
 
 

September: Suicide Prevention Month — Be a life saver

Suicide prevention is everyone’s business and anyone can help save a life. One of the first steps in preventing suicide is to talk about it. The word ‘suicide’ evokes different emotions in people such as anger, sadness, confusion and anxiety. As a result, people are often hesitant or unable to talk about it and can...
 

 
140910-F-NQ441-011C

Women’s support group to end domestic violence

Courtesy photo It can start unexpectedly maybe with a few harsh words that escalate into throwing an object or being physically hurt or hurting someone in the heat of the moment. To prevent and treat domestic violence for women...
 
 
Senior Airman 
GRACE LEE

PTs human body ‘maintainers’

Senior AirmanGRACE LEE Staff Sgt. Kellie Kasischke, 56th Medical Operations Squadron physical therapy NCO in charge, teaches Courtney Barns, 11, daughter of Maj. David Barns, 56th Fighter Wing chaplain, how to properly use crut...
 
 

‘Hey, are you OK?’

September is Suicide Prevention Month in the Air Force, and focuses on encouraging Airmen to get to know their wingmen and to have the courage to ask someone, “Hey are you OK?” Sometimes, all it takes to avoid the tragedy of someone committing suicide is to ask the person, “Are you all right.” To someone...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin