#Spoonie, Back Pain, Backcare, CHRONIC PAIN, DRUGS, Failed Back Surgery Syndrome, FIBROMYALGIA, low back pain, The Lancet


Pain News Network recently wrote about a study which found that many treatments for back pain are ineffective.

It says that in a series of reviews in The Lancet a team of researchers found that back pain is quite often treated with the wrong advice including, inappropriate tests, risky surgeries, and painkillers.

They put that “The majority of cases of low back pain respond to simple physical and psychological therapies that keep people active and enable them to stay at work,” says lead author Professor Rachelle Buchbinder of Monash University in Australia. “Often, however, it is more aggressive treatments of dubious benefit that are promoted and reimbursed.

The best type of treatment they recommend is primary care in the first instance and keep mobile, active and continue to work.

Most people with a new episode of back pain can recover quite quickly but the same problem can reoccur again and then take longer to heal the next time. Counseling, exercise, and cognitive behavioral therapy are other treatments advised with spinal manipulation, massage, acupuncture, meditation, and yoga as second-line treatments.

The Lancet authors say patients should avoid harmful and useless treatments, and doctors need to address widespread misconceptions about their effectiveness. For example, there is limited evidence to support the use of opioids for low back pain, and epidural steroid injections and acetaminophen (paracetamol) are not recommended at all.

Pain News Network also wrote that the findings in The Lancet series are similar to those reported in other medical journals. A 2016 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that regular exercise and education reduce the risk of developing lower back pain by as much as 45 percent.

Back in 1982 after my second episode of back pain which left me bent over, I was referred to an orthopedic consultant who put me on traction for a week in the hospital. To this day I have lasting problems from that traction. My first spinal surgery was in 1987 and I had a lumber discectomy for spinal bifida and a disc herniation and canal stenosis. Twelve months later I had to have further surgery but this time in my neck for a serious cord compression and a prolapsed disc which meant a two level fusion at C3/4.


By 1996 I needed further cervical surgery and in 1999 further lumber surgery. I have to agree with the primary care they suggest you have but unfortunately for some, all the treatment in the world will not sort the pain out unless you have surgery. I am sure like me anyone who has undertaken spinal surgery did not have it done unless it was very necessary. I was told I could not even pick up my young daughter as there was a risk of paralysis because the disc was in such a mess.

I do agree however that spinal surgery is not a quick fix and further problems were partly due to my initial surgeries but the only other option I was given was to have a plate inserted in my back from top to bottom.

With so many people, around 540 million people at any given time, suffering from back pain it is obvious that it is a very serious health problem to deal with.

Maybe some form of education about this should be introduced at school so children know from a very early age how to sit correctly (deportment was a factor when I was at school) and how to pick up and carry items, how to keep fit and watch their weight in order to avoid spinal problems in their adulthood.


#blog award, Back Pain, CHRONIC PAIN, Failed Back Surgery Syndrome, FIBROMYALGIA, HEALTH, pain


According to Good Health in today’s Daily Mail there is a new technique now available for back pain.  A new spinal cord stimulator implant which is implanted beside the vertebrae in the spine in the epidural space and the vertebral wall is connected to a battery pack that produces a small electrical field, which blocks pain signals to the brain.

Initially, two wires, each with eight electrodes attached, are implanted, guided by x-ray and aligned with a nerve ending. They are then connected to an external battery to stimulate the wires to check it works for the patient. The programmes are personalised for specific pain areas.

The patient uses the device for one to two weeks and is reviewed twice in that time to see if the machine works for them. If they report at least a 50 percent improvement in pain then a small battery pack the size of a pacemaker is inserted through an incision in your buttocks, and connected to the wires. Around 80 percent of patients who have the device inserted on a trial basis go ahead with the full implant, a Dr Serge Nikolic ( based at NHS Pain Clinic at Barts Health Trust in London) said.

Patients are then given an external zapper to control the device and the stimulation’s intensity.The machine operates continuously and batteries can last ten years or longer and can be replaced with a simple procedure. Dr Nikolic said that it is for people who have severe chronic pain that limits their daily activity and has already tried all conservative therapies, (that’s me for sure).

A review of randomised controlled trials, published by the University of Saskatchewan, Canada in 2014, concluded the safety, efficiency and cost-effectiveness of spinal cord stimulation were well established in treating chronic pain associated with failed back surgery.

However, not all patients with back pain are suitable for this device including those with uncorrected bulging discs or deformities. The cost is also a big factor as it costs around £35,000 for the surgery and the device if done privately, but a much cheaper price on the NHS. It concluded that it is purely a funding issue as to whether your local NHS will fund the surgery with a waiting list of two years or more and with some NHS hospitals not even offering the procedure.

#blog award, #Spoonie, Back Pain, CHRONIC PAIN, complementary therapies, Failed Back Surgery Syndrome, FIBROMYALGIA, HEALTH


They say that if you have mild muscle soreness after working out then that is quite normal. They even say that most people with arthritis can exercise through mild discomfort.

However, if you have moderate to severe pain in a particular joint before exercising then its best to avoid that joint in your workout.

If you have moderate to severe pain during the exercise then you should stop exercising and consult your GP as this could actually be a sign that your joints may be damaged or inflamed.

Joint pain after exercise isn’t right so if you do get that then change to an exercise that puts less stress on your joints.

Finally, if you have moderate to severe joint pain the day after exercise then rest for the day and do a shorter or less vigorous workout next time.

According to LIVE WELL NHS UK muscle pain that shows up a day or two after exercising can affect anyone, regardless of your fitness level. But don’t be put off. This type of muscle stiffness or achiness is normal, doesn’t last long, and is actually a sign of your improving fitness.

Dr. Jonathan Folland, an expert in neuromuscular physiology from Loughborough University, explains how to avoid sore muscles after exercise. Sore muscles after physical activity, known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), can occur when you start a new exercise programme, change your exercise routine, or increase the duration or intensity of your regular workout.

When muscles are required to work harder than they’re used to, or in a different way, it’s believed to cause microscopic damage to the muscle fibres, resulting in muscle soreness or stiffness. DOMS is often mistakenly believed to be caused by a lactic acid build up, but lactic acid isn’t involved in this process.

Anyone can develop DOMS, even those who have been exercising for years, including elite athletes.It can be alarming for people who are new to exercise, and it may dent their initial enthusiasm to get fit. The good news is that the pain will decrease as your muscles get used to the new physical demands being placed upon them.The soreness is part of an adaptation process that leads to greater stamina and strength as the muscles recover and build. Unless you push yourself hard, you’re unlikely to develop DOMS after your next exercise session.

Any movement you’re not used to can cause DOMS – in particular, movements that cause the muscle to contract while it lengthens, called eccentric muscle contractions.DOMS typically lasts between three and five days.There’s no one simple way to treat DOMS. Nothing is proven to be 100% effective. Treatments such as ice packs, massage, tender-point acupressure, anti-inflammatory drugs (such as aspirin or ibuprofen), and rest may help ease some of the symptoms.

One of the best ways to prevent DOMS is to start any new activity programme gently and gradually. Allowing the muscle time to adapt to new movements should help minimise soreness. If the pain makes it hard to exercise, it’s advisable to refrain from the activity for a few days until the pain eases. Alternatively, you could focus on exercises targeting less affected muscles to allow the most affected muscle groups time to recover.