Study finds opioid painkillers almost useless for back pain. I disagree.

I had several herniated discs, and found opioid medication very helpful after the herniation and the surgery.

Researchers from the Minneapolis Veterans Health Care System conducted a randomised controlled trial with long-term follow up comparing opioids with non-opioid medications.

They found that opioids provided no better pain relief for patients with lower-back pain or osteoarthritis than safer, non-opioid medications.

Perhaps the difference here is between non-specific lower back pain and pain resulting from a herniation, but I am concerned how difficult it might be to get mediation if I have another re-herniation.

More details here

Surgeons in China Remove Patient’s Malignant Tumor and Six Vertebrae, Replace Them with 3D Printed Titanium Alloy Bones

I’m always fascinated by 3D printing technology application in spinal surgery. 3D printing have been used to help in scoliosis operations, and as far back as  2014, we’ve seen doctors perform surgeries using 3D printed vertebrae in Australia, India, and China.  Xiao Wen recently had a risky surgery at Shanghai Changzheng Hospital after she was diagnosed with chondrosarcoma this spring. This is a rare type of cancer, and is one of the most difficult bone tumors to diagnose and treat.  The doctors realized they would have to remove all six of the bones affected by the tumor, and replace them with custom 3D printed bones, made of titanium alloy.  The successful two-part surgery took place over 13 hours in July. Xiao Wen is recovering slowly, and while she’s unable to turn her head normally, she is able to walk.  More details on this surgery here.

New treatment helping patients get long-term pain relief without opioid

“Coolief” is a quick non-invasive out-patient procedure that uses cooled radiofrequency and zero anesthesia. What the therapy does is burns the nerve so it can’t send signals back to the brain.

Once the procedure is done, you can go back to your normal routine within a few days and within 2 weeks, no pain and no side effects unlike opioid medication and the relief can last almost 2 years.

Additional details are in the article

Keep the right posture to reduce body pain and stiffness

Half of patients with neck, back and wrist have pains caused vy jobs that demand them to stay glued to the computer screens for several hours every day or other jobs that demand sitting for long hours. A lot of dentists have shoulder and upper back pain because their work demands them to slouch over their chair in an incorrect posture. Nurses and people who lift heavy weights at work for lower back problems due to incorrect lifting techniques.

Steps to prevent neck and back strains

> Correct office ergonomics

> Regular stretching and breaks and strengthening of muscles through exercis

> Lift your computer screen to your eye level so that your neck is in the neural position and your back is not slouched in front of the screen

A separate keypad with wrist support can also help so that your wrists are not inclined due to a heightened platform
> Chair should be comfortable and you can use lumber support cushions to protect your back

More details can be located in this article


Invention: a hand-held device that uses vibrations on different parts of the body to ease pain

Sharik  Peck, a physical therapist,  became inspired to find a solution to his wife’s back pain and created the Rezzimax TUNER, a hand-held device that uses vibrations on different parts of the body to ease pain.

Peck’s Rezzimax TUNER uses vibrations given to pressure points at the right and left sides of the body to bring balance to the brain and nervous system. Rezzimax TUNER is ideal for chronic pain from the head, jaw and neck.  More details can be located here.

The best treatment for herniated discs

Nerve-related symptoms from a herniated disc in the lower back will be felt in the lower extremities; symptoms of a herniated disc in the neck will be felt in the shoulders, arms and hands. Symptoms of a herniated disc usually include numbness, tingling, burning pain, and a loss in reflexes/flexibility.

Herniated disc treatment will most often begin in a conservative measure, incorporating anti-inflammatory medications, ice and heat treatments, exercises, and sometimes physical therapy. Only once conservative treatments have been exhausted should surgery be considered.