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PROS AND CONS OF SPINAL INJECTIONS FOR PAIN?..

As I am sure my readers know I have had several different types of spinal injections from epidurals to facet joint injections and even a life-threatening episode with one particular injection. But what are the pros and the cons of these types of injections which have given you time-limited pain relief?

The facet joint injection provides important information for your doctor and can also give you pain relief. Why do I have to have an injection in the facet joint? The procedure is designed to prove if the facet joint is causing your pain by placing a temporary medication to reduce discomfort in the joint.

The pros are that it provides a direct management for joint pain and inflammation. It provides faster pain relief and relieves moderate to severe pain. Steroid injections also provide faster pain relief than oral forms of anti-inflammatory drugs. Joint injections allow the drug to be absorbed in the blood stream faster than oral medications. Making pain receptors less sensitive, in turn sending fewer pain signals through the nerves

There are no stitches or open wounds to deal with, and because of this, you have an extremely small risk of infection. Overall, facet joint injections are considered a very safe treatment.

You may get between three weeks and three months’ pain relief from a steroid joint injection, though this varies. You can have the injections every three months if you need them. Generally, it’s best not to have more than four steroid joint injections in a year into any one joint. This is because there’s a chance any more could damage your joint.

The waiting list on the NHS for any spinal injections is long but having them done privately is not cheap. It varies across the UK from £1,200 in the far north to £2,043 in the south.

The cons are that steroids have various side-effects. Age can also become a factor with facet joint injections. As you age, your facet joint becomes more damaged. This makes the injection more technically difficult because the joint is too small and maybe tighter. You may also grow small bones called osteophytes, which you do not normally see on an X-ray.

You could have an allergic reaction or cause bleeding although this is usually only a risk with patients who are on blood thinners.

Minor infections occur in less than 1% to 2% of all injections. Severe infections are rare, occurring in 0.1% to 0.01% of injections.

You could get discomfort at the point of the injection or worsening of pain symptoms. And while very rare, damage to the spinal cord or spinal nerves can occur from direct trauma from the needle, or secondarily from infection, bleeding resulting in compression, or injection into an artery causing blockage.

Have you had any spinal injections and if so how long did the pain relief last? I would love to hear from anyone who has had this treatment either on the NHS or privately as I am trying to get as much information as possible to write a much bigger article on it.

For me personally I enjoy every second of my pain free time after my injections and would not hesitate accepting any being offered to me.

Source: Northampton Chiropractor, Spine Health BUPA Private Health

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THE ANTIBIOTIC JAB FOR BACK PAIN…

The Daily Mail wrote that Doctors in the UK are testing whether a one-off jab of a new drug known as PP353 can ease — and even cure — the chronic lower back pain that affects millions.

The antibiotic kills bacteria that normally cause acne but have also been found hiding in the damaged spinal discs of patients with back pain.

Three people have already been treated, and one has said that a ‘dramatic’ reduction in pain means he can go swimming again.

Common causes of back pain include slipped discs, arthritis and spinal stenosis (where bones press on nerves) but there are growing evidence bacteria also play a role.

In a landmark 2013 study, Danish researchers found that in up to 40 per cent of patients with slipped discs, the damaged discs were infected with Cutibacterium acnes bacteria.

The discs are spongy pieces of tissue that sit between and cushion the bones of the spine. When one slips or herniates, most commonly due to age-related wear and tear, part of its softcore bulges out and can press on nearby nerves.

Cutibacterium acnes normally causes acne but is also found in the mouth and can get into the bloodstream as a result of poor dental hygiene.

Slipped discs grow small blood vessels as part of the repair process, and it’s thought this is how the bacteria enter the disc explained The Daily UK News.

They then produce an acid that damages the surrounding bones, irritates the nerves and causes inflammation, leading to pain.

Studies have shown that oral antibiotics can help ease the pain. But much of the drug is broken down before it reaches the spine, so the tablets have to be taken for at least three months to be effective. 

Such prolonged use raises the risk of side effects including diarrhoea, abdominal pain and loss of appetite, as well as concerns about antibiotic resistance, where bacteria develop the ability to defeat drugs meant to kill them.

The new treatment, developed by Kent-based Persica Pharmaceuticals, involves injecting the PP353 antibiotic into the disc. This maximises the amount of the drug that reaches the bacteria, allowing patients to be treated with a single injection, in turn reducing the risk of side effects and antibiotic resistance.

Once injected, PP353 solidifies, which ensures it stays within the disc, stopping the bacteria from growing and causing pain.

A preliminary trial at hospitals in Preston and Coventry found it to be safe and well tolerated. A larger trial, involving 40 patients, is now underway.

Michael McNicholas, a consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said that the successful treatment of lower back pain with antibiotics could make surgery for it obsolete.

He added: ‘This groundbreaking work could transform life for millions of patients suffering from chronic back pain.’

Let’s hope the 40 trial patients now undergoing this procedure have great pain relief as lower back pain at the moment is reaching epidemic level due to Covid-19.

Source: The Daily UK News The Daily Mail

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25 REASONS TO CHECK OUT BACK PAIN BLOG NEWS FOR FEBRUARY…

The sun is shining and the sky is blue, it’s a beautiful spring day today and we managed a nice walk in the pleasant warm sunshine. When we got back I sat outside with a cup of tea and tried to think of some interesting post I could write about on my blog. With my blog being mainly about pain and how to tackle it, it makes it quite hard to write something uplifting.

“Getting your readers interested in the first paragraph”, they say, is the key to the reader wanting to read more. So, I took a quick look through all my posts this month and initially I was quite surprised at how many I had written, 25 in total. My posts covered a selection of different subjects from pain relief through acupoints to Walking and the British obsession with the weather.

I looked at my stats to see if readers favored any particular post more than another but surprisingly my stats are pretty much the same on a daily basis. I looked at other sites that are similar to mine and I noticed that some wrote newsletters. I used to write newsletters quite a few years ago now but these were handmade news letters with a pretty bow on as they were for a ladies over 50’s group that I used to run. Of course, that took time and a lot of it and I know my back would not appreciate that sort of work any more. But it gave me an idea on writing a post at the end of every month on the posts that I had written that month (are you still with me?). So, without further adieu I will write on 24 reasons you should check out Back Pain Blog UK.

A few of my posts on Back Pain Blog were focused around acupoints and the benefits of different types of treatments you can have to help for your pain.

1. Teach Yourself Hand Reflexology is the perfect post on this type of treatment. followed by an article on

2. Auricular Therapy which is another type of treatment using acupoints only in your ears this time.

3. Acupuncture Another Natural Approach to Pain explains all about Acupuncture and the benefits you can get from this type of therapy.

4. Trigger Point Therapy is for acute and chronic pain and acupuncture and something you could perform on yourself in your own home, so it’s well worth reading this article.

5. Myofascial Release Therapy and Myofascial Pain

6. I also wrote about A Day in the Life of Ravi-Jaipaul founder of Yoke Wellness and a truly inspirational guy who overcame some awful injuries after a cycling accident and then set up Yoke Wellness.

7. I was gifted his mats and wrote a review on them as they are amazing acupressure mats and could not be happier with the outcome.

8. My awareness days this month were raising the awareness of Raynauds Disease, and

9. Tittinus Awareness week, check out my article here.

10. Other news in February included my personal trip and outcome from my first Covid-19 jab.

11. Plus an article I wrote on Covid-19 and Fibromyalgia, and

12. Pain Medication and Covid-19.

Some other interesting health related news are –

13. How to tell the Difference between x rays and scans.

14. Eight ways to create movement and energy into you day and

16. Bake Yourself Calm – I love baking and find it does calm me down and feel fulfilled when the cake is cooked and ready to hand out, and my family love it when they get a text from me saying I would be dropping off my bakes.

My regular Sleep Sunday slot in February covered –

17. Natural Sleep Aids and

18. How much Children and Teenagers Sleep

19. Simple Walking can vastly Improve Your Health and Wellbeing, but I think we all know this anyway, it’s just motivating ourselves to make it a regular occurrence.

This month I wrote a few articles covering pain with –

20. What is good and bad pain and how should we deal with it,

21. Depression and Back Pain, and

22. Low Back Pain – Is it a Slipped Disc.

A few fun articles included promoting-

23. International Send a Card to a Friend Day, m

23.My post on the website The Bad Back Company of my Day in the Life of a Back Pain Sufferer series and 24. Why It’s not to late to make your New Year Resolutions.

25. Finally, my article on Walking and the British Obsession with the Weather which was reposted onto another blog so someone must have liked it.

I hope you have enjoyed my lowdown on subjects covered this month. I am always happy to receive any suggestions so please let me know if you have any.

Happiness is … looking forward to something.