Recurring Low Back Pain

woman with recurring low back pain

A new study proposes that exercise when partnered with education lowers the risk for recurring low back pain (LBP). Exercise on its own, meanwhile, may reduce the risk for an LBP episode and the need to use sick leave, reports Medscape Medical News.

According to the American Chiropractic Association, recurring lower back pain is one of the most commonly reported pain conditions in the US. It contributes to a considerable fiscal burden in required care and missed work hours. The high likelihood of recurring low back pain is a key contributor to the hardship of the pain condition, with almost half of individuals experiencing a recurring low back pain episode within one year after recovering from a previous low back pain episode.

New Report on Recurring Low Back Pain:

Daniel Steffens, PhD, from the University of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, and his study collaborators published the findings.

“In our review,” the authors write, “the combination of exercise and education was effective … while exercise alone was not… suggesting that the distinction between exercise alone and exercise combined with education may be important.”

Some of the issues with the earlier reports of LBP are that many are out of date, evaluated a specific intervention or setting, or presented detailed data. Dr. Steffens and his research team set out to provide an updated review of the evidence showing the effectiveness of interventions intended to prevent of low back pain episodes and the use of personal time off from work due to low back pain.

The research team completed a review of the effectiveness of prevention strategies for general low back pain. The selected research studies assessed six different prevention strategies that include: exercise, education, exercise combined with education, back belts, shoe insoles, and alternative strategies.

“Although our review found evidence for both exercise alone (35% risk reduction for an LBP episode and 78% risk reduction for sick leave) and for exercise and education (45% risk reduction for an LBP episode) for the prevention of LBP up to 1 year, we also found the effect size reduced (exercise and education) or disappeared (exercise alone) in the longer term (>1 year),” the study authors stated.

“This finding raises the important issue that, for exercise to remain protective against future LBP, it is likely that ongoing exercise is required. Prevention programs focusing on long-term behavior change in exercise habits seem to be important,” the research team concluded.

“However, formal exercise instruction after an episode of LBP is uncommonly prescribed by physicians. This pattern is, unfortunately, similar to other musculoskeletal problems in which effective but lower-technology and often lower-reimbursed activities are underused,” they added.

Regenerative Medicine for Recurring Low Back Pain:

Regenerative medicine research proves that both platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and bone marrow concentrate (BMC) are strong surgical alternatives. While major injuries may require surgery, even then regenerative medicine helps patient recovery. On their own, however, both PRP and BMC are viable solutions for a number of conditions.

While PRP is notable for helping with pain levels, it should not be confused with cortisone. Regenerative medicine is quite different than cortisone due to its healing properties. While PRP and BMC flood the injured are with healing growth factors, cortisone simply masks pain. Since cortisone hides pain instead of treating it, it is not a viable solution for recurring lower back pain.

At Metropolitan Pain Consultants, our expert pain physicians work closely with our patients to find the treatment plan for them. If you are experiencing recurring low back pain and wish to discuss your pain condition further, please contact us today. You can reach us at 201-729-0001 to schedule a consultation at one of our clinics. Our conveniently located clinics can be found in West OrangeAberdeenClifton, and Lyndhurst.

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