Latest scientific research on techniques to cure backpain
A recent (January 2009) centre spread article in the English national newspaper - The Daily Mail - looked at a survey of treatment methods for lower back pain which has just been published by Professor Christopher Maher of the University of Sydney, Australia.
Professor Maher's team looked at more than 30 different treatments for lower back pain in cases where there was no obvious physical cause. The treatments were relatively small scale in the number of patients treated and generally followed the standard practice of randomly selecting patients in each test for the 'real' treatment or for a 'placebo' (a harmless therapy such as a sugar pill).
The results showed no obvious winners or losers and the patients receiving a placebo often showed similar levels of pain relief. This may be down to the fact that the body will always try to cure itself, but also that patients may have responded to medical reassurance and relaxation.
Inters tingly, results had little to do with the cost of treatment - low cost techniques were were in many cases more effective than far more expensive treatments. Also, many of the older remedies seemed equally effective. No surprise there really since practices which have been around for hundreds of years are likely to have some basis in fact.
The other methods which were considered effective to cure backpain were generally those available by medical referral.
Of the less effective or ineffective therapies only:
Were rated as having a small benefit. Most others, including:
Were generally found to be ineffective or of very limited value.
So, there is still no cure for lower back pain but some methods of pain relief are far more effective than others and some are probably a waste of time and money. Interest, both the simple and traditional heat pad treatment which we personally advocate, and the modern equivalent (the TENS machine) of traditional Chinese acupuncture, were shown to be both the quickest and most cost effective treatments.
As always, Your lower back pain is unique to you. There is no cure-all therapy and as we have always been keen to stress, what works for one person may not work - or indeed may be dangerous - for another. If your pain persists for more than a few days you should consult with your GP. And you should always discuss with your GP before starting any treatment with which you are unfamiliar.
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