Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Elusive Treatments For Back Pain

Among the most common complaints that a person has would be back pain. In fact, back pain is such a prevalent problem that treatments for it have increased over the years, and it is the most likely cause for a person to visit a doctor’s office. However, while the available options have increased, this isn’t necessarily good news. Instead, many patients have found that sudden back pain only opens up to a veritable world of medical confusion.

There are numerous pharmaceutical and surgical remedies available for back pain, but the effectiveness of almost all of these has been put into question several times. There’s a large amount of money that goes into things such as doctor’s visits, medications like Tramadol to dull the pain, stays in the hospital, any procedures that need to be done, and perhaps even physical therapy. All of that, and there’s no concrete guarantee that any of them will actually improve things. According to data from the American Medical Association, spending on back treatments jumped by 65%, going up to nearly $86 billion from 1997 to 2005, after adjustments for inflation were made. During the same period, though, the proportion of people with back function having been reduced because of spinal problems increased. This is despite control measures implemented to factor out the aging population.

Lower back pain, according to experts, is a representation of more than just one condition. It can be caused by any number of conditions, and each one might need to be treated differently. For some, it could be a muscular problem that can be fixed by a muscle relaxant or pain killer, such as Tramadol. For many of the conditions that cause this pain, there is no known test that can confirm which is which. This usually causes attempts to relieve lower back pain to become a process of trial and error, attempting to find which condition fits the symptoms. As such, treatment can only actually begin once the condition has been identified, because what works for one is not likely to work for others.

Another problem with this is that, for about 85% of all patients, the cause of the pain is impossible to identify, and many doctors just prescribe Tramadol or some other pain medication. In essence, they treat the symptoms, but are aware that they are unable to do anything about the symptoms. Even magnetic resonance imaging technology is only rarely able to shed light on the problem, with most studies finding that the scans are able to pick up social abnormalities in people who have never experienced back pain, but are unable to find anything wrong with those who have.

Resource Box : Harvey Ong is currently working as a writer-researcher for an online pharmaceutical company. For more information on the topics he writes about, go to

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