Acupuncture is moderately effective for chronic low back pain. It involves the insertion of thin needles into precise points throughout the body. Some practitioners believe this process helps clear away blockages in the body’s life force known as Qi (pronounced chee). Others who may not believe in the concept of Qi theorize that when the needles are inserted and then stimulated (by twisting or passing a low-voltage electrical current through them) naturally occurring painkilling chemicals such as endorphins, serotonin, and acetylcholine are released. Evidence of acupuncture’s benefit for acute low back pain is conflicting and clinical studies continue to investigate its benefits.
The dust is settling on one of the most dramatic political shifts in Italy since the founding of the republic after the Second World War. In this case a populist wave split the country in two. The entire Italian south and Sicily went to the chameleonic Five-Star Movement, which became the first party in Italy, with 33 percent of the vote. Most of the North went to the League, formerly the Northern League, which campaigned on fears of out-of-control immigration and economic distress. That party is now the senior partner in a center-right bloc with Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party, which I wrote about here. (The results produced a hung parliament, with no party getting enough votes to form a government on its own, and it will take weeks if not months for a government to emerge.)
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Total disc replacement is an experimental option, but no significant evidence supports its use over lumbar fusion. Researchers are investigating the possibility of growing new intervertebral structures through the use of injected human growth factors, implanted substances, cell therapy, and tissue engineering.
Inflammatory arthritis, including ankylosing spondylitis and related conditions – In these disorders, there is pain in the lower back, together with morning stiffness in the back, hips or both. There also can be pain and stiffness in the neck or chest or an extremely tired feeling. Other features may include psoriasis, eye pain and redness, or diarrhea, depending on the specific disorder causing back pain. This group of diseases is a relatively rare cause of back pain.
Jump up ^ Chou R, Qaseem A, Snow V, et al. (October 2007). Diagnosis and treatment of low back pain: a joint clinical practice guideline from the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society. Annals of Internal Medicine. 147 (7): 478–91. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-147-7-200710020-00006. PMID 17909209.
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Surgery may be useful in those with a herniated disc that is causing significant pain radiating into the leg, significant leg weakness, bladder problems, or loss of bowel control. It may also be useful in those with spinal stenosis. In the absence of these issues, there is no clear evidence of a benefit from surgery.
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Surgery is seldom considered for acute back pain unless sciatica or the cauda equina syndrome is present. Surgery is considered useful for people with certain progressive nerve problems caused by herniated discs.
BACK pain – particularly pain in the lower back – is a common problem that affects most people at some point in their life. The majority of cases are not serious – but experts have revealed the serious symptoms people should look out for.
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As with any health condition or disease, preventing back pain is better than trying to cure it after it has set in, and may be too late. So even if you’re not experiencing back pain symptoms, I would recommend you follow these simple tips:
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Anti-inflammatory painkillers. They include ibuprofen which you can buy at pharmacies or obtain on prescription. Other types such as diclofenac or naproxen need a prescription. Some people may not be able to take anti-inflammatories. For example, some people with asthma, high blood pressure, kidney failure, or heart failure.