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Medical Issues

"We monitor the pulse of current events in Medicine and Health"

April brings promises of warmer weather. The sunny warmth means less joint and muscle pain for many. But also, this is the time of year when we desire to work in the yard: trimming bushes, planting tomato plants, and cleaning the mildew off the lawn furniture. These inviting chores come with a price for people with chronic pain. It is healthier to get outside and work in the yard, but be sure not "over do it." If pain is increased, it may be necessary to increase your pain medicine. If you have a lot of pain and stiffness, be sure to heal your muscles before you work again. Soak in a warm tub, or use a heating pad on those sore muscles. Add some aromatic oil to the bath water, or rub some on your skin before turning on the heating pad; this will give you maximum relaxation for your aching muscles. Or you can take the pre-exercise sports supplements.

Low Back Pain afflicts most adults at least once in their life. It is second only to upper respiratory tract infections, as the symptoms prompting most emergency room visits. X-rays and physical exam usually help little with the diagnosis, and therefore, leave most patients and physicians using sub-therapeutic medications.

The negative issues surrounding a diagnosis of "Low Back Pain", are most of the reasons for its persistent inadequate treatment. Issues such as workman's' compensation, disability, depression, chronic pain medication needs are just some of the additional burdens placed on patients. "Well meaning" pharmacist, family and friends add their disapproval to the mountain of dishonor and disgrace they feel.

Low back pain can occur at any age, but is seen mostly between ages 20 and 40; although its severity increases with age. Approximately 6% of patients with an acute problem will progress to a chronic disabling state. Risk factors include lifting, twisting and poor physical condition. The pain can come from the spinal structures, nerve roots which leave the spine and transverse through a maze of tissues to reach their endpoints, bone pain, ligaments and tendons. Similar diagnosis include muscle strain, back strain/sprain, lumbago, bursitis and/or tendonitis.

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