Month: July 2008

Caught in the net? Online health information you can trust

On a typical day, millions of people type “back pain” or “migraine” into an Internet search engine. A 2011 Harris Poll found that three quarters (74%) of all adults have gone online at some time to look for health information, and that 60% have done so in the previous week. Are you one of them? Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed… Read more »

Back in the bedroom: Sex and back pain

The well-known sex expert, “Dr. Ruth” Westheimer, Ed.D., has said, “The most important sex organ lies between the ears”. This fact is so widely accepted that the quote appears on a Food and Drug Administration website! Since the mind and the body both influence how sexuality is felt and expressed, both need to be thought… Read more »

Are they listening? Talking about your pain

According to a thesaurus, complaining is “to express dissatisfaction, pain or resentment, usually tiresomely.” Similar words are “bellyache, fuss, gripe, and whine.” On days when your pain is high, you might feel like complaining. If you’ve had chronic pain for a long time, you know that people in your life can get tired of hearing… Read more »

Your pain goals: Fantasy or reality?

While it would be great to be rid of pain entirely, this may not be possible for people with chronic pain. If pain is unavoidable, it is important to consider what your pain management goals can be. Helpful goals may include: Becoming as comfortable as possible while having pain Getting back to old routines that you… Read more »

When pain returns

“Relapse” means a long setback Unfortunately, chronic pain that lasts for at least 3 to 6 months is hard to cure. While pain can lessen with time there can continue to be good and bad days, improvements and setbacks. A setback, like a period of increased pain, may lead to unhealthy changes in behavior, such… Read more »

Thinking of joining a clinical trial?

 What is a clinical trial? A clinical trial is a research study that is designed to answer health questions. This research study is performed on human volunteers who consent to participating. This article explains some basics of clinical trials and discusses some of the pros and cons of participating in a trial. There are many… Read more »

Your primary care provider: Center of your treatment

Finding a primary health care provider who is a good match for you is the first and most important step in getting the health care that you need. This is particularly true when you have acute or chronic back pain, as this condition can test any patient’s relationship with a health care provider.  That’s because the treatment of pain can be… Read more »

Why physical therapy?

If you have back pain, you may benefit from physical therapy, a well-established method for treating all types of back conditions.  Using techniques such as therapeutic exercise, functional training, mobilization/manipulation, massage, electrotherapy and ultrasound, physical therapists help restore function, reduce pain and prevent disability. When should you see a physical therapist for back pain? If… Read more »

When nothing else works: Is back surgery right for you?

Surgery for back pain should usually only be considered after all other treatments have been tried and failed to provide relief.  In such situations, surgery may indeed be the only remaining option.  In order to understand the risks and potential benefits of various types of back surgery, it is important to re-visit the anatomy of… Read more »

Chronic back pain treatment: Myths and realities

Whether you state it or not, you probably have some goals for the outcome of the treatment of your chronic back pain.  Perhaps your goal is to get back to activities you enjoyed before.  In many cases, you want to return to work.  Or maybe you simply want the pain to be reduced to a more tolerable level. You… Read more »