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DIFFERENT TYPES OF INJECTIONS FOR BACK PAIN RELIEF – WHICH ONE HAVE YOU TRIED?…

I have previously written about a number of different types of injections for back pain relief from trigger points to epidurals, all of which I have tried. Some other types which I have not tried are an injection that dissolves a herniated disc, an ozone injection and recently an a lactic acid jab is the latest technique to ease back pain.

The Mayo Clinic wrote that Chymopapain is injected directly into a herniated (“slipped”) disk in the spine to dissolve part of the disk and relieve the pain and other problems caused by the disk pressing on a nerve. It seems quite widely available in the US but I cannot find it being used in the UK.

According to the Daily Mail, Good Health section, the injection uses a drug produced from bacteria which then digests the tissue that’s ruptured out of the disc. The tissue then shrinks so it no longer compresses the nerves.

Researchers say that the jab might even be as good as surgery, and Arthritis Research UK said that ‘if it works, an injection to dissolve a herniated disc in order to reduce pain is a good idea’.

The injection is put into the centre of the soft disc material under general anaesthetic which then dissolves the main compounds found in the inner disc. In a trial in Japan, patients had significant improvement in leg pain after three months.

According to the Pro Health Clinic who offer Ozone injections Medical Ozone injection therapy has built a reputation for achieving results when all other treatments have failed. The treatment is used to relieve pain, repair, strengthen and regenerate the following structures: joints, cartilage, spinal discs, muscles, ligaments, tendons, meniscus, and bursa.

The treatment was named ‘Prolozone Therapy’ because it involves the injection of medical ozone and nutrients to proliferate cells in a weak or damaged region of the body. To proliferate cells means to multiply and increase the number of them.

Prolozone Therapy proliferates chondrocyte and collagen cells. Cartilage is formed mainly of chondrocytes. Spinal discs, muscles, ligaments, tendons, meniscus, and bursa are formed mainly of collagen. The treatment increases the number of these cells through activating chondroblasts and fibroblasts, which are the pre-curser building blocks to chondrocytes and collagen.

Medical Ozone injection therapy has the ability to provide complete relief of symptoms, even in severe conditions that have been present for many years. The treatment is naturally anti-bacterial, so deemed one of the safest injections on offer within medicine. It works on any type of pain problem you may have.

Finally, the acid jab that my beat back pain. In The Daily Mail article they wrote that once-in-a-lifetime jab may treat back pain. In a new trial, injections of lactic acid — a syrup-like substance formed in sour milk and found naturally in our bodies — are being given to 120 patients with lower back pain caused by disc problems.

The researchers say that the jab will make the discs, which sit between the bones (vertebrae) of the spine, tougher and more resilient — and could remove the need for surgery for many.

Around eight in ten people have back pain at some point, and up to one in four cases is caused by disc problems.

Lactic acid is a natural by-product of energy production in the body — it builds up in the muscles after exercise and is thought to be what makes them ache.

Its use in alleviating back pain is based on the idea that it encourages the development of collagen, which makes the disc tougher and resilient. Orthopaedic surgeons have long reported that patients experiencing back pain related to disc problems often have less pain as they get older, as with age the collagen in the discs becomes tougher and so the discs are able to provide more support to the spine. 

But these changes take decades, and the theory is that the lactic acid injection has the same effect — but in weeks.

Animal studies have shown that just one month after the injection, the centre of the discs had been replaced by dense fibrous tissue, as the collagen solidifies.

A small trial on 15 patients at the Stockholm Spine Centre in Sweden found no serious safety issues and MRI scans suggested the discs did become more solid after the jab.

In the new trial in hospitals in the Netherlands, Spain and Russia, patients will have the jab or a placebo. The researchers say they expect the benefits to be felt within four to 12 weeks and will hopefully last the patient’s entire life.

Hopefully the last injection I have written about will soon be available to anyone suffering from back pain. If you have had any of these injections I have listed I would love to hear from you.

Source: Mayo Clinic, Daily Mail, Arthritis Research UK, Pro Health Clinic

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THE UP’S AND DOWN’S OF TAKING LOTS OF MEDICATION FOR PAIN…

I’m sure many of my readers like myself happily take pills if they help with the pain but of course none of them come without side effects and addiction.

Some easy mistakes you can make with your medications could actually be quite life threatening.

After reading an article about a man who died through taking too many paracetamol tablets, it made me really think about the amount of drugs I am currently taking.

Apparently he suffered from bad sciatica and was warned he was using too much paracetamol but as he thought the ones prescribed by his GP were too strong, he just carried on taking the paracetamol.

His brother said that he would have a drink every night with two paracetamol and then take another two later.

The post-mortem examination found a high level of paracetamol in the man’s blood and damage to his liver. The cause of death was liver failure due to paracetamol overdose.

Of course with paracetamol readily available from a number of shops, I’m sure a lot of people do not realise just how many they are allowed to take.

Many people take over the counter pain killers like paracetamol without even reading the dosage on the box. So instead of maybe taking one four times a day, they take double that. And at the same time they may also take the prescription drugs that they have been given by their GP.

Unless your GP has approved the over the counter pain killers then do not take them until you have either read all the instructions on the back or spoken to your GP.

BUPA wrote in their article about over the counter painkillers that if you have mild-to-moderate pain, start by taking a non-opiate painkiller (such as paracetamol) or a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (such as ibuprofen). Take it regularly and up to the largest recommended amount. If that doesn’t work and you still have pain, try a weak opiate medicine such as codeine. If that doesn’t work, talk to your pharmacist or GP.

You can buy over-the-counter (OTC) painkillers in several different forms, including:

  • tablets, caplets (longer tablets that are rounded at each end that may be easier to swallow) or capsules that you swallow
  • a powder or tablet to dissolve in water
  • a liquid or syrup
  • suppositories – soft, shaped tablets that you put into your anus
  • gels or sprays that you rub into your skin
  • patches that you put on your skin

You can buy OTC painkillers from a pharmacy, supermarket or other shops without a prescription from your GP. You can only buy packs of 16 tablets of paracetamol from a shop or supermarket. If you buy paracetamol from a pharmacist, you can buy a pack of 32 tablets or capsules. Shops and pharmacies can’t sell you any more than a total of 100 tablets or capsules in one go. This is to help prevent people from overdosing or accidentally taking too many.

They also point out that any medicine can be dangerous if you take too much of it. If you take too much paracetamol, it can cause serious liver damage, which can be life-threatening. Sometimes, there are no symptoms until a day or so afterwards. Taking too many NSAIDs can make you feel or be sick or cause hearing problems such as tinnitus. Taking too much aspirin can cause you to hyperventilate (breathe abnormally quickly) as well as hearing problems, and you may sweat a lot.

It’s getting a balance with your pain killers that is important. I weaned myself off the opioids I was on and felt so much better for it but recently my pain has been so bad that I have needed the odd one. I was shocked at how different I felt while taking them and it certainly made me think twice before taking too many of them.

The NHS website points out that the type of medicines that you need to treat your pain depend on what type of pain you have. They say that for pain associated with inflammation, such as back pain or headaches, paracetamol and anti-inflammatory painkillers work best.

If the pain is caused by sensitive or damaged nerves, as is the case with shingles or sciatica, it’s usually treated with tablets that change the way the central nervous system works.

The aim of taking medication is to improve your quality of life. All painkillers have potential side effects, so you need to weigh up the advantages of taking them against the disadvantages. The NHS website has a list of pain medications and the type of side effects you can experience with some of them.