So, a couple of weeks ago, I posted about a gentleman- lets call him 'Mike'- who saw one of my earlier posts regarding spinal injections. He liked the information in the post sooooooo much, that he went and found a physician willing to give him a shot. His letter was to express anger that the injection didn't work. So, just a couple of brief notes:
-When I discuss a medical treatment here on the blog, it should be in no way whatsoever be construed as a medical recommendation. Everyone is different, and some techniques are better for some people than others. Talk to your doctor!
-The lifestyle recommendations I make here should be considered safe for EVERYONE, unless I tell you otherwise.
Mike's post motivated me to do a series of posts on different treatment modalities so you would have the basic information about each of these approaches to pain. As an osteopathic physician, I thought I'd start with that first. Here are some take home points:
-Osteopathic manual medicine is based upon the premise that overall health is enhanced by optimizing the function of the musculoskeletal system.
-While originally envisioned as a complete approach to health, most practicing osteopathic physicians use manual medicine to treat musculoskeletal pain.
-Osteopathic manual medicine doesn't work for ALL types of pain. Consult your physician.
NEXT UP: Spinal injections.
Please share any of your experiences with different treatment modalities here on the blog.
This is your year to get to live a pain-free life!
Most back and neck pain is the result of lifestyle issues- things you can control. This year, resolve to join me throughout the year for tips and suggestions to rid yourself of back pain once and for all!
I look forward to working with you- and feel free to submit any back pain related topics you would like to see covered on the BackWords blog at Backtogethercentral.com and backtogether.org.
I received an email over the weekend- and quite honestly I've never really gotten anything like this before:
"(Dr. Kirschner) I read an article you had written about radio frequency ablation last year, and promptly sought out a practitioner in my area who performed the procedure. I went in for three sessions over the course of three months, and got absolutely no relief whatsoever. I'm disappointed that it didn't work, and I'm surprised you would recommend this treatment. The anesthesiologist who did the procedures told me I would get relief- and nothing. My out of network deductible was $2000, and I'll never get that back."
Ok- there are so many things wrong with this letter that I'm not even sure where to start. First of all, while I do make many recommendations regarding lifestyle, ergonomics, stress management, and fitness- I NEVER make treatment recommendations for patients that I haven't personally evaluated. I'm not sure which article this gentleman read- but all of the pieces I've written about procedures have been educational in nature, and only intended to describe the procedure and give some common pros and cons.
Second, and this is for anyone reading this blog, there are no one-size-fits-all approaches to back and neck pain. What works for your friend/coworker/neighbor may be completely inappropriate for your situation. There are so many lifestyle factors which contribute to back pain, past medical histories, and previous injuries- all unique to every individual- that a cookie cutter approach just won't work.
Furthermore, if any practitioner comes to you and says that they can guarantee you relief using their proprietary technique, run away- they're selling something. A patient I've been working with for some time saw another physician for a second opinion a couple of months ago. During his first visit, he was told that they would cure his back pain and sciatica in 3-5 visits. I tried to assure him that this was unlikely, but that what they were offering wasn't dangerous- and if he felt like trying it out, I wouldn't be offended. Well, 12 visits later he was back in my office in worse shape than when he left.
Today, he's back on track, and feeling better- and now understands that ther are no shortcuts, quick fixes, or magical potions that will fix his pain. I've seen so many treatments for back pain over the years, and some of them are great when used on the right patient, while others do nothing.
Over the next several weeks, I will be periodically posting some information on different approaches- what's involved, and for whom they may be good or bad options.
Have you had any particularly good or bad results with any approach to back pain? Please, share your experiences here with me and my readers.
I am so lucky to be able to work with some of the best medical students in the world. It's graduation time, and I also proud of all of the hard work you've all done. Medical school is one of the most difficult challenges you will ever face, and you've donn brilliantly. No get out there and heal!!!
Thanks for checking in!
I'm grateful to everyone who came to my book release event- it was a great turnout for a wonderful night.
A couple of brief fitness tips: Walking is one fantastic way to stay in shape, and improving your fitness is a great way to reduce the effect of back pain.
Also, by taking advantage of short blocks of time, the coffee break walk is a great day to find an extra calorie burning blast.
Thanks for stopping by,
Many people are making the change to a gluten-free diet, some with the expectation that it will help their back pain? Have you tried this approach? What was the outcome?
Today, I was interviewed by the great Philadelphia radio host, Patty Jackson. We discussed some aspects of back pain, and she mentioned my new book 'Fifteen Surefire Tips for Relieving Back Pain (Plus 192 Others, Just in Case...)
One of the best and simplest tips to help reduce or prevent back pain- hydrate! There are so many ways being adequately hydrated can help you with you- all of which can be directly related back to back pain. Enjoy the clip!
To have your questions about back pain, neck pain, sciatica, or most other types of musculoskeletal pain answered here on the BackWords blog, send your questions or comments through the contact link here on my site.
Dr. Andrew Kirschner
In my new book, Fifteen Surefire Tips for Relieving Back Pain (Plus 192 Others, Just in Case...), I offer simple and effective tips to help you get rid of your back pain. Here, I share one of the simplest ones, using my mom as an example...
Disc replacement surgery for low back pain and sciatica.
A brief video with my thoughts on intravertebral disc replacement surgery. I had a post last year where I stated that this was a relatively new procedure, and received a number of notes from viewers relating that the procedure had been available for over 20 years in parts of Europe and Asia. While there has been a form of disc replacement which has been available, the type being performed here in the US involves a relatively new product, which is still undergoing testing to establish protocols for who can and cannot benefit from the procedure.
Some take home points:
- Any type of spinal surgery should be considered a last resort, as the overall statistics for most forms of back pain surgery are not great.
- If you are considering disc replacement surgery, locate the surgeon in your area who has done the most procedures, and then check their on-line ratings, and see if you can locate folks who have had the surgery done by that physician.
- Spinal surgery is one area where both a second and even a third opinion are paramount. If several physicians agree that this is the right choice, you're probably going down the right path.
- If you decide you are having the surgery, your level of success will depend upon your commitment to quality rehab after the procedure. Locate a good physical therapist in your area before your surgery, and have all your ducks in order so you can get right to it as soon as you are cleared by your surgeon.
- Your physical therapist will likely prescribe some home exercises- DO THEM! It is critical to maintain the highest level of core stability to ensure your best outcome.
Thanks for stopping by!