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Do You Need a Lower Epidural Steroid Dose if You Have Diabetes?

epidural steroids and diabetes in spinal stenosisEpidural steroid injections for back pain have long been a popular way of treating spinal stenosis related to inflammation in the lumbar spine. The safety of these injections has, especially in the past couple of years, been called into question numerous times, and one such concern is the documented effect on blood glucose that occurs after epidural steroid injections. Continue reading “Do You Need a Lower Epidural Steroid Dose if You Have Diabetes?” »

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Antidepressants May Increase Your Risk of Spinal Fracture

ssris falls and fracture risk in spinal stenosis elderlyAccording to a new study, hypnotic sleep medications and SSRIs may increase the risk of osteoporotic and hip fractures in older adults. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a popular type of antidepressant and, as back pain is often associated with depression, those with spinal stenosis may be particularly at risk of this complication. Continue reading “Antidepressants May Increase Your Risk of Spinal Fracture” »

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Predicting Addiction – How Brain Scans Could Predict Risk of Opioid Addiction for Chronic Lower Back Pain Patients

fMRI brain in pain In the near future, doctors may be better able to decide which chronic lower back pain patients can safely be prescribed opiates for pain relief. Opioid related overdoses, and problems of opioid addiction are on the rise in the US, but as chronic back pain is also increasingly common this leaves physicians in something of a quandary over appropriate treatment. Finding a way to predict who is likely to respond well to opioids, or respond well to interventions for opioid addiction, could change the way chronic back pain is treated. Continue reading “Predicting Addiction – How Brain Scans Could Predict Risk of Opioid Addiction for Chronic Lower Back Pain Patients” »

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Hooked On Painkillers – How Some States in the US Are Overcoming Their Nasty Drug Habit

opioid painkiller overdose oxycodone side effectsChronic back pain can lead to chronic painkiller use but it appears that if you live in Alabama you’re more likely to be prescribed opioid drugs than if you live in a northern state. A new analysis carried out by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that for every 100 Americans there were 82.5 prescriptions written for opioid painkillers in 2012. In Alabama it was 143 scripts per 100 people. Why the disparity, and why should those with chronic back pain care? Continue reading “Hooked On Painkillers – How Some States in the US Are Overcoming Their Nasty Drug Habit” »

Lower Back Pain in Men – Is it Time to Check Your Prostate?

prostate problems and lower back painThere are myriad causes of lower back pain but one issue that you might not suspect is prostate cancer. In older men both prostate problems and lower back pain are common and so it can be difficult to determine if one is connected to the other.

Regular check-ups are, of course, recommended and anyone with signs of prostate infection or enlargement should seek medical attention immediately. Continue reading “Lower Back Pain in Men – Is it Time to Check Your Prostate?” »

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Side Effects of Gabapentin for Spinal Stenosis Nerve Pain

gabapentin side effects spinal stenosis treatmentThere are many medications that can be prescribed for neuropathic pain and, unfortunately, such drugs can carry a risk of certain side effects. Gabapentin (Neurontin) is an anti-seizure medication that is approved for use in treating nerve pain and, typically, a doctor will make a judgement call about the risk-benefit ratio for gabapentin for spinal stenosis pain. Continue reading “Side Effects of Gabapentin for Spinal Stenosis Nerve Pain” »

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Could Spinal Stenosis Mask a Vitamin B12 Deficiency?

Symptoms of spinal stenosis can be confusing and confused with other conditions, including vitamin B12 deficiency. Indeed, some clinicians warn that not checking a patient’s vitamin B12 status may lead to them continuing to suffer primary symptoms even after having high-risk spine surgery. So, just how prevalent is vitamin B12 deficiency and how can you tell if you’re getting enough? Continue reading “Could Spinal Stenosis Mask a Vitamin B12 Deficiency?” »

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Preventing Addiction – Combined Pain Medication for Chronic Low Back Pain

chronic low back pain oxycodone addictionA new study, funded by Purdue Pharma and presented at the American Pain Society (APS) 33rd Annual Scientific Meeting, outlined how a novel extended-release oxycodone and naloxone protocol for chronic low back pain could help reduce the risk of addiction to pain medications in patients. Over a thousand people were recruited for the study, all of whom had chronic low back pain for which they were taking opioid painkillers, a type of medication that poses a high risk of addiction. Continue reading “Preventing Addiction – Combined Pain Medication for Chronic Low Back Pain” »

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Back Pain – Is it all in Your Genes?

genes and painA presentation at the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) 66th Annual Meeting could change the way physicians view patients for whom typical doses of pain medications aren’t effective. The presentation described results of a study that found a genetic component to pain perception, meaning that the way we perceive pain may be inherited from our parents, and not just through social conditioning. Continue reading “Back Pain – Is it all in Your Genes?” »

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How To Heal Fractures Faster

healing broken bone in backSticks and stones may break your bones, but can diet and lifestyle modifications help them to heal faster? Are you accidentally hindering your healing process? What can you do right now to help remineralise your broken vertebrae and relieve spine pain? Continue reading “How To Heal Fractures Faster” »