UK health services are failing to meet the needs of millions of chronic joint pain sufferers. More than 80 per cent of chronic back and knee pain sufferers still suffer from pain following treatments recommended by a healthcare professional, according to new research for Bupa. Despite the scale of chronic joint pain in the UK (22 million back pain; 13 million knee pain) and its debilitating effect on sufferers, sufferers say their treatment options are limited - and in many cases ineffective. - More than one in three chronic joint pain sufferers say their condition significantly impacts their quality of life (41 per cent back pain; 39 per cent knee pain) - Around one in three chronic joint pain sufferers is disappointed by their treatment (33 per cent back pain; 29 per cent knee pain) - Around half of sufferers say their treatment options are limited (55 per cent back pain, 47 per cent knee pain) The research, carried out among 4, 000+ UK adults, reveals that sufferers are seeking to fill the current gap in treatment options between pain relievers and surgery: - More than 80 per cent of sufferers do not believe pain killers to be a very effective form of treatment (84 per cent back pain;
New research reveals around 22 million people suffered back pain in the last year - just under half of all UK adults (45 percent). More than one in four UK adults - nearly 13 million people - suffered from knee pain in the last year. Over 80 percent of the people with back or knee pain still suffer some pain after undergoing treatment recommended by a healthcare professional. Bupa is making APOS Treatment for knee and lower back pain available in the UK for the first time. The breakthrough treatment can eliminate the need for prescription pain relief for seven out of 10 people. The APOS Treatment (which stands for All Phases of Step Cycle) has two key elements: The APOS WalkrightTM, high-tech footwear which is individually adjusted to address patients' specific pain needs, and a six-month programme of care that provides ongoing clinical and computerised assessment of the patient's walking pattern and readjustments as needs change. The APOS Treatment combines two simple principles: realigning the body as it walks and introducing a mild instability, encouraging retraining of the joints.
New studies on treating back pain from a fractured spine could call more attention to the type of comparative effectiveness research health policy experts and President Barack Obama have embraced in their quest to increase quality of care while lowering costs. The New York Times : "Two new studies cast serious doubt on a widely used and expensive treatment for painful fractures in the spine. The treatment, vertebroplasty, injects an acrylic cement into bones in the spinal column to ease the pain from cracks caused by osteoporosis, the bone-thinning disorder common in older people. Doctors began performing it in this country in the 1990s, patients swore by it - some reporting immediate relief from terrible pain - and it soon caught on, without any rigorous trials to determine whether it really worked. The new studies are exactly the kind of research that health policy experts and President Obama have been calling for, to find out if the nation is spending its health care dollars wisely, on treatments that work.
A world-first study involving Monash University and the Cabrini Research Institute in Melbourne has revealed the injection of bone cement into broken vertebrae is not an effective treatment for patients suffering painful osteoporotic fractures. The treatment, known as percutaneous vertebroplasty, is regularly recommended by doctors and specialists around the world. About 600 patients across Australia undergo the procedure every year. The study results were published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). Director of the Monash Department of Clinical Epidemiology at Cabrini Hospital, part of the Monash University School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Professor Rachelle Buchbinder said the trial results clearly show that vertebroplasty does not work and therefore potential risks outweigh any potential benefits. "The technique has no significant benefits at any time during a patient's recovery. We assessed each patient at the one-week, one-month, three-month and six-month stage of their recovery, " Professor Buchbinder said.
The American Dietetic Association has published new evidence-based nutrition practice guidelines for registered dietitians on nutrition care for patients with spinal cord injury. The guidelines contain systematically developed recommendations to assist practitioners in appropriate nutrition care, with specific recommendations on: Energy needs in the acute phase Nutrition assessment for prevention and treatment of overweight and obesity Nutrition assessment of lipid abnormalities Cranberry extract supplements Nutrition intervention to prevent development of pressure ulcers. ADA members, including an expert workgroup and trained analysts, extensively examined the research to develop a series of recommendations and treatment algorithms which accurately summarize this body of evidence. The intent of ADA's guidelines is to support the integration of evidence-based dietetics practice and improve the quality of care. ADA has previously published evidence-based nutrition practice guidelines on adult weight management;
Women with incontinence, respiratory disorders and gastrointestinal problems have increased risk for development of back pain, according to research reported in The Journal of Pain, the peer review publication of the American Pain Society. Australian pain researchers reviewed case histories of some 7500 young, mid-age and older women who participated in the Australian Longitudinal Study of Women's Health who reported no back pain during the preceding 12 months. They were followed for up to four years. The study was intended to show that identifying some conditions that may predispose women to back pain later in life is one way to assist in prevention and help control the cost of a widespread and expensive health problem. Results showed that women with preexisting incontinence, breathing difficulties and gastrointestinal disorders were more likely to develop back pain than women without these afflictions. The prevalence of new back pain found in the study participants was 37 percent in the younger group, 39 percent for the mid-age women and 16 percent in the older group.
Studies have recently found that vertebroplasty - a type of back surgery in which cement is injected into the spine - isn't effective, but many patients and their doctors insist it works. The surgery "is under scrutiny after two recent studies in the New England Journal of Medicine concluded the popular treatment to ease pain from back fractures, typically caused by osteoporosis, is no more effective than a sham surgery, " The Boston Globe reports. "Coming more than a decade after vertebroplasty was introduced in this country, the studies are the first to compare the treatment's effectiveness to a placebo surgery, the gold standard for medical research." "Yet the findings are unlikely to change the practice of many specialists, who said they don't jibe with their years of experience" providing pain relief to patients. "The fallout illustrates how hard it is to find clear-cut answers about whether health care dollars are being wisely spent, a key question as Congress debates a national overhaul of the health care system.
Intensive, Progressive Physical Therapist Exercise Program Plus Educationreduces Disability And Improves Patient Function After Back Surgery
Patients who have undergone a single-level lumbar microdiskectomy for lumbar disk herniation experienced significant improvement in physical function following an intensive, progressive physical therapist guided exercise and education program, according to a research report published in the November issue of Physical Therapy (PTJ), the scientific journal of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). Low back pain continues to be the most prevalent musculoskeletal problem, and one cause is lumbar disk herniation accompanied by sciatica - with many cases resulting in lumbar diskectomy. Up to 35 percent of patients continue to have pain and impaired function after surgery, which may be related to the type of postoperative care that they receive. "An important goal of physical therapy interventions is to resolve functional deficits associated with low back pain, " said physical therapist and lead researcher Kornelia Kulig, PT, PhD, associate professor of clinical physical therapy in the Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
Osteoarthritis (OA) and degenerative disc disease (DDD) are common, chronic musculoskeletal disorders. Both diseases cause joint pain, loss of function, and decreased quality of life for the more than 27 million OA and 59 million DDD suffers in the US. According to a 2003 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, arthritis such as OA costs the U.S. economy nearly $128 billion per year in medical care and indirect expenses including lost wages and productivity. Researchers at Duke University Medical Center, under a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), conducted a study of mice to determine the effect of Type IX collagen (Col9a1) deficiency on functional ability. The authors found that mice with the Col9a1 gene inactivated prematurely develop OA and DDD. Findings of this study appear in the September issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism, a journal of the American College of Rheumatology, published by Wiley-Blackwell. Duke University researchers led by Kyle Allen, Ph.D. compared the behavioral abilities of Col9a1 deficient mice to wild-type (WT) mice.
People with chronic low-back problems who do yoga also do better at overcoming pain and depression than people treated conventionally for back pain, a West Virginia University study funded by the National Institutes of Health shows. The three-year, $400, 000 study, published in the September issue of the journal Spine, showed lifted mood, less pain and improved function in the group that did yoga postures compared with a control group who received standard medical therapy. "The yoga group had less pain, less functional disability and less depression compared with the control group, " said Kimberly Williams, Ph.D., research assistant professor in the Department of Community Medicine. "These were statistically significant and clinically important changes that were maintained six months after the intervention." The 90 study subjects, who experienced mild to moderate functional disability, were randomly assigned to the yoga group or the group that received conventional medical therapy.