Orthopedic News for Patients - Bone & Joint Pain

News for patients with orthopedic conditions & bone and joint pain.

MONDAY, Feb. 13, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- People with low back pain should try drug-free remedies -- from simple heat wraps to physical therapy -- before resorting to medication, according to new treatment guidelines. Low back pain is among the most common reasons that Americans visit the doctor, according to the American College of Physicians (ACP), which released the new guidelines on Monday. The recommendations put more emphasis on nondrug therapies than previous ones have. They stress that powerful opioid painkillers -- such as OxyContin and Vicodin -- should be used only as a last resort in some cases of long-lasting back pain.

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FRIDAY, Feb. 10, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- For people experiencing low back pain, the thought of exercise often seems daunting. But yoga may be a natural fit in the quest to relieve an aching back, a new review indicates. The findings come from an analysis of 12 studies that included more than 1,000 participants with lower back pain. The studies compared yoga to physical therapy or patient education. There was some evidence that yoga led to small improvements in pain, and small to moderate improvements in back function at three and six months. "We found that the practice of yoga was linked to pain relief and improvement in function," said review author L.

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FRIDAY, Jan. 27, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- If you've ever heard a loud pop as you bent down to pick something up, you'll be relieved to know that it's normal for your joints to make popping and cracking noises. These sounds can be caused by a number of things, including when soft tissues -- such as tendons and ligaments -- rub or snap over other tissues and bones, explained Dr. Aman Dhawan. He is an orthopedic sports medicine specialist at Penn State Health's Milton Hershey Medical Center. "Our joints are mobile, so there are a lot of things that slide over or run past each other.

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THURSDAY, Feb. 2, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Painkillers like aspirin, Aleve and Advil don't help most people with back pain, a new review finds. The researchers estimated that only one in six people gained a benefit from taking these nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Meanwhile, previous research has suggested that another common painkiller, Tylenol (acetaminophen), isn't very useful either, the study authors added. The findings raise the prospect that no over-the-counter painkillers really ease back pain, at least in the short term, and some may raise the risk of gastrointestinal problems. "There are other effective and safer strategies to manage spinal pain," said review author Gustavo Machado.

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WEDNESDAY, Jan. 18, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Back pain is common but not inevitable, an orthopedist says. Roughly eight out of 10 people will suffer significant back pain at least once in their lifetime -- but there are ways to reduce the risk, said Dr. Mark Knaub of Penn State Hershey Medical Center. Muscle, ligament or tendon strains (soft tissue injuries) are the most common causes of back pain. These injuries can occur from falls or activities involving lifting, twisting or bending, said Knaub, chief of the medical center's adult orthopedic spine service. When pain strikes, you can ease it with anti-inflammatory drugs and muscle relaxants.

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TUESDAY, Jan. 31, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Just a little physical activity seems to go a long way toward helping older adults with arthritis remain able to do daily tasks, a new study finds. Older adults with arthritis-related joint pain and stiffness need to keep moving to remain functionally independent. But only 10 percent of older Americans with arthritis in their knees meet federal guidelines of at least 150 minutes of moderate activity a week, the researchers said. However, this Northwestern University study found that doing even about one-third of that amount is still beneficial.

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Your doctor will weigh several factors to decide on a treatment plan. These include severity of the injury, age, physical condition, medical history, and other injuries or illnesses. People who are young, active, and healthy typically get surgery. Your primary care doctor will refer you to an orthopedic surgeon. In surgery, they will repair, or reconstruct, the ACL with tissue. This can come from your hamstring or a minor patellar (knee) tendon. They also can get it from a donor. Surgery should be performed shortly after the injury, within 5 months, for best results. After surgery, you will need intense physical therapy to rebuild strength in your knee and leg.

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MONDAY, Jan. 30, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Low back pain is common in school-age American children, and rates increase with age, researchers say. By the time they're teenagers, nearly two out of five kids will have suffered lower back pain, a review of prior studies found. But only 7 percent of teens with low back pain seek care, said researchers from Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Most cases of low back pain in youngsters are not serious, but they can affect school attendance and participation in gym class or sports. Also, teens with low back pain are at increased risk for low back pain when they're adults.

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TUESDAY, Jan. 10, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- You might want to think twice the next time you're ready to blame the weather for your aches and pains, researchers say. Some people swear that changes in humidity, temperature, air pressure and the like trigger back pain and arthritis. But a team at the George Institute for Global Health in Newtown, Australia said it found no evidence to support that theory. "The belief that pain and inclement weather are linked dates back to Roman times. But our research suggests this belief may be based on the fact that people recall events that confirm their pre-existing views," said Chris Maher, director of the institute's musculoskeletal division.

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