Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Drug Free Lower Back Pain Treatment

The FDA, not too long ago, approved the psychiatric drug Cymbalta for "treatment" of lower back pain. Now the word treatment insinuates that it helps heal the underlying injury or irritation that is causing the back pain, so lets debunk that right now, thats just how some news agencies are reporting that it helps relieve pain, and not treat it. Simply put, it is a pain reliever, and not an intentional one at that.

Treatment v. Relief
We dont just relieve pain. We treat what's causing pain, and that naturally leads to pain relief, thats long term and does not have any side effects. Any time you are putting foreign, synthetic chemicals in to your body to cover up the symptoms of an injury or condition that can be treated by a doctor using natural, non invasive and side effect free method, you put yourself at risk for all sorts of complications.
Medications, like mentioned on this blog many times before, cover up pain, which is treating a symptom and not addressing the cause, which isn't going to heal anything, so you may be on a medication with no end in sight. As long as the injury remains, you may be taking drugs to cover up the pain.
This is unsustainable and impractical, and in some cases, very expensive. Drugs cost a lot of money, and have been driving up insurance costs for years. Its easy to simply get patients in and out of the office by prescribing them drugs. A proper treatment protocol requires time, effort, and the ability of the doctor to maintain a good relationship and be aware of all the patients symptoms and complaints.

Forget the drugs, see a chiropractor
A recent Cochrane study showed that Chiropractic care was just as effective for treating lower back pain as traditional treatment, such as pain medication.
Cymbalta is especially troubling, since it isn't even a pain medication. Traditionally NSAID's (non steroidal anti-inflamatory drugs) are prescribed for short term pain relief, but Cymbalta was supposed to be an anti depressant, in a class of drugs known as selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SSNRIs). The drug manufacturer found that one of the unintended uses for the drugs turned out to be the treatment of musculoskeletal pain.

Risks of Suicide
Treating the cause of lower back pain, like a herniated or bulging disc has no fatal side effects, nothing past a little bit of soreness for a couple of days. Non surgical treatments require no hospital visits as well. The risk of suicide is as far from plausible as you can imagine when it comes to chiropractic treatment for back pain.
There have been reported cases of unexplained suicices, and attempts at suicide from all over the world that have been linked to Cymbalta. People with no history of mental issues, or any history of suicidal thoughts or attempts, committed or tied to commit suicide while on Cymbalta, survivors were also unable to explain why they tried to commit suicide.

Starting with the death of 19-year-old Cymbalta test subject Traci Johnson in 2004–who hanged herself in the Lilly Clinic in Indianapolis and had no history of mental problems–it has been beset by reports of baffling, rapid, unprovoked, and out of character suicides.

So are you likely to go home after a chiropractic adjustment or a round of physical therapy and kill yourself? No, that isn't even a question one can formulate without laughing, but a powerful drug with powerful, sometimes deadly side effects is now being made available to treat people who have no psychological disorders, but rather to treat their back pain. It almost defies understanding that someone would consider choosing a psychiatric drug over a safe, proven effective, drug free, non invasive treatment protocol.

Just say no to this drug when it comes to treating back pain, get yourself checked out by a reputable chiropractor.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Recognizing Herniated Disc Symptoms

When people get back pain, it’s natural to speculate on what might be the cause. You start combing through the events of the last few days, wondering what you did that might have caused the problem. Was it that work in the yard? Did I tweak it at the gym? Or is it something else? Pain makes you look for reasons and solutions because of how quickly and totally it can take control of your life. I see how completely people’s lives are affected every day at Living Well Medical in Downtown NYC. And that’s why I like helping people - they can live normally again because of what we do. Call it a perk.

Among the common causes of back pain are disc problems like herniated discs. An MRI is the only surefire way to see that you do or don’t suffer from discogenic pain, but in general, there are signs that can point to nerve irregularities caused by a herniated (or bulging) disc. I’ll review a couple of the more common ones, but remember, reading about these symptoms is no substitute for visiting a doctor face to face.

1. Shooting/Burning Pain - Specifically, in the lower back, buttocks and legs. The burning and shooting is often evidence that a nerve has been impinged and compressed, resulting in irregular sensations due to inflammation.

2. Loss of Sensation/Numbness - As you know, nerves are responsible for gather data for the brain like sense-related information. When nerves are compressed, this data sometimes cannot effectively travel back to the brain to be perceived or is garbled. Pins and needles also goes along with this.

3. Muscle Wasting - This is usually a sign of significant nerve compression. If your muscles are atrophying and accompanying any of these other symptoms, see a doctor immediately.

That’s just the short list, but you get the idea - herniated disc means serious business.

At our office, we have been treating conditions like these the non-surgical way for years. Therapies like spinal decompression, Active Release Technique, the Graston Technique, massage therapy, acupuncture and chiropractic all contribute to restoring your wellness. We make the treatment plan match the patient.

If you need help with back pain and think it might be related to a herniated disc, give Living Well a call today at 212-645-8151. We’re waiting to help you.

- Dr. Shoshany, NYC Chiropractor