Four out of five Australians will suffer from back pain with one in 10 experiencing significant disability according to a report in the Medical Journal of Australia. Senior author Professor Rachelle Buchbinder from Cabrini Institute and Monash University's School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine and Dr Andrew Briggs from Curtin University of Technology's School of Physiotherapy have called for back pain to be classified as a National Health Priority Area (NHPA). They say classification of back pain as an NHPA has many benefits including improving public awareness and better coordinating management strategies. "Back pain disrupts quality of life and accounts for an enormous cost to the community, " Professor Buchbinder said. "It is associated with significant workforce absenteeism and 'presenteeism', where people are at work but not productive. Back pain is second only to mental health as a contributor to lost productivity. "Including back pain as a national health priority will ensure greater opportunity to target funding at preventing or minimising the impact of back pain on individuals and the community.
Back pain is a very common complaint. According to the Mayo Clinic, USA, approximately 80% of all Americans will have low back pain at least once in their lives. Back pain is a common reason for absence from work, or visiting the doctor's. According to the NHS (National Health Service), UK, back pain is the largest cause of work-related absence in the United Kingdom. Although back pain may be painful and uncomfortable, it is not usually serious. Even though back pain can affect people of any age, it is significantly more common among adults aged between 35 and 55 years. Experts say that back pain is associated with the way our bones, muscles and ligaments in our backs work together. Pain in the lower back may be linked to the bony lumbar spine, discs between the vertebrae, ligaments around the spine and discs, spinal cord and nerves, lower back muscles, abdomen and pelvic internal organs, and the skin around the lumbar area. Pain in the upper back may be due to disorders of the aorta, tumors in the chest, and spine inflammation.
New guidance for employers, patients and doctors on helping people with back pain return to work will be announced on Tuesday May 5 at the University of Leicester. It is estimated that it costs society in excess of В 12 billion a year with people taking time off work because of back pain. Around 80% of these costs, were not associated with healthcare but due to lost work production and associated wage replacement benefits. "These figures demonstrate the importance of maintaining people with chronic pain in useful employment, " says Professor Paul Watson of the University of Leicester Department of Health Sciences who was among a group of researchers investigating back pain and its impact in the workplace. "The role of healthcare practitioners in sanctioning work absence has been investigated and this has demonstrated that the health service is currently ill equipped to manage work loss in people with chronic pain and may in itself contribute to the high societal costs." The reasons why people become disabled by chronic pain are not entirely explained by the severity of pain or the pathology but are better explained by the interaction of complex psychological and societal factors.
Three Clinical Presentations On Tapentadol Extended Release Tablets For Chronic Pain Featured At 2009 American Pain Society Annual Meeting
Chronic pain is a significant medical challenge in the United States, and chronic low back pain is the most common cause of disability in developed countries. An estimated 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain each year. If left undertreated, chronic pain can impair an individual's ability to carry out daily activities and diminish quality of life. Three clinical presentations about the use of tapentadol extended release tablets to treat patients with chronic low back pain, including pivotal Phase 3 safety, efficacy and gastrointestinal tolerability data, will be discussed during the poster sessions of the 28th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Pain Society (APS) in San Diego, California on Thursday, May 7, and Friday, May 8, 2009. These data presentations are supported by Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, L.L.C. (J&JPRD). Tapentadol binds to mu-opioid receptors and inhibits norepinephrine re-uptake. Although the exact mechanism of action is not known, these two mechanisms, which affect established pain pathways, are thought to be responsible for pain relief with tapentadol.
Three types of acupuncture therapy-an individually tailored program, standard therapy and a simulation involving toothpicks at key acupuncture points-appear more effective than usual care for chronic low back pain, according to a report in the May 11 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. Back pain costs Americans at least $37 billion annually, according to background information in the article. Many patients with this condition are unsatisfied with traditional medical care and seek help from complementary and alternative care providers, including acupuncturists. "Back pain is the leading reason for visits to licensed acupuncturists, and medical acupuncturists consider acupuncture an effective treatment for back pain, " the authors write. Several recent studies have suggested that simulated acupuncture, or shallow needling on parts of the body not considered key acupuncture points, appear as effective as acupuncture involving penetrating the skin.
Acupuncture can help people with chronic low back pain feel less bothered by their symptoms and function better in their daily activities, according to the largest randomized trial of its kind, published in the May 11, 2009 Archives of Internal Medicine. But the SPINE (Stimulating Points to Investigate Needling Efficacy) trial raises questions about how the ancient practice actually works. Compared to the group that got usual care, results were similar for all three of the SPINE trial's acupuncture groups: individualized, standardized, and simulated (without going through skin). Of the people who got any kind of acupuncture, an extra one in five were functioning significantly better at the end of the seven-week treatment - and an extra one in eight were still functioning better at one year. "This study suggests that acupuncture is about as effective as other treatments for chronic back pain that have been found helpful, " said SPINE trial leader Daniel C. Cherkin, PhD, a senior investigator at Group Health Center for Health Studies in Seattle.
AxioMed® Spine Corporation announces the receipt of CE Mark approval for its Freedom® Lumbar Disc, an elastomeric total spinal disc replacement device. The CE Mark approval was received from the notified body after review of the company's multi-center European clinical study and its portfolio of biocompatibility and biomechanical testing. This data also supported AxioMed's Investigational Device Exemption approval by the US Food and Drug Administration. The CE Mark clears AxioMed for the introduction of the Freedom® Lumbar Disc into the EU Market. Patrick McBrayer, AxioMed's President and CEO stated, "The Freedom® Lumbar Disc is the only elastomeric lumbar total disc replacement device to receive CE Mark approval based on a rigorous multi-center clinical study conducted in the European Union. We are particularly pleased to be able to provide surgeons in Europe with the Freedom technology that has been shown to provide patients pain relief, reduced disability and improved lifestyle, based on monitored outcomes and feedback.
The American Pain Society (APS) has issued a new clinical practice guideline for low back pain that emphasizes the use of noninvasive treatments over interventional procedures, as well as shared decision making between provider and patient. The findings are published in the current (May 1, 2009) issue of the journal Spine. The new APS guideline, based on an extensive review of existing research, provides clinicians with eight recommendations to help determine the best way to treat patients with low-back pain. It also expands its current and previously published guideline for initial evaluation and management of this chronic condition. "These recommendations are based on an even more complete body of evidence than was available just a few years ago. Consequently, we believe these recommendations will give physicians more confidence when treating patients with persistent back pain, " said Roger Chou, M.D., lead author, director of the APS Clinical Practice Guideline Program, and associate professor of medicine (general internal medicine), Oregon Evidence-based Practice Center, Oregon Health & Science University.
[Efficacy and safety of comfrey root extract ointment in the treatment of acute upper or lower back pain: results of a double blind randomised placebo controlled multicentre trial Online First Br J Sports Med 2009; doi: 10.1136/bjsm.2009.058677] An ointment containing an extract of comfrey root quickly and effectively relieves back pain, finds industry sponsored research published ahead of print in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. The authors base their findings on 120 people with upper or lower back pain who were treated three times a day for five days with either a dummy ointment or one containing comfrey root extract. The participants were all aged between 18 and 60 and rubbed on 4 g of ointment at each application. They were asked to assess their levels of back pain, and to what degree this interfered with normal movement, using validated pain and mobility scales on four separate occasions before, during, and at the end of the study period. Neither the trial participants nor the researchers knew who had been given the comfrey root extract ointment.
Children are a pain in the back! New survey reveals that 83% of Mums suffer back pain directly related to caring for young children A new survey* conducted by Maclaren Buggys and BackCare, 'The Charity for Healthier Backs', has revealed that 83% of Mums suffering from back pain believe it has been caused or exacerbated by their children. Mums cite pregnancy as well as the day-to-day lifting and carrying of their children as the main reasons but the survey highlighted a significant proportion of these mums (73%) also link back pain to pushing, folding or lifting pushchairs. Sash Newman, Chief Executive for BackCare comments "A pushchair is one of the most important pieces of baby equipment a parent buys - they will be using it constantly for years, not just months. If you choose one that has the wrong handle height for you, is too heavy, or is difficult to fold and lift then you could be storing up some real problems for the future." In response to the survey, Backcare has joined forces with Maclaren to create a 'Top Ten Tips' providing advice on what to look for when choosing the right pushchair plus general tips on how to care for your back when looking after young children.