It goes without saying that your spinal cord plays a gargantuan role in keeping you up and moving. However, some alarming findings have been discovered by professional medical doctors in the last decade and the picture isn’t looking good for the majority out there. The American Chiropractic Association claims in its recent survey that nearly 80% of the population is prone to suffer from back pain at least once in their lifetime. There is no age limit or prior warning as back pain can occur worldwide. Furthermore, it is quite unfortunate to know that the latest reports regarding the sufferings of people from this ailment have increased considerably by 54% during the period 1990 to 2015. Even though the news out there might not sound too good, however all thanks to science and technology improving at a progressive rate, the hope for recovery and treatment is still alive. Here are some of the latest treatments that are available to offer you solace during these problematic times.
Nerve Stimulation Therapy
During the annual meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists in 2018, a new type of treatment for long-term chronic back pain was presented. It utilizes the DRG stimulation which stands for ‘dorsal root ganglion’. The treatment method uses a mechanism where the source of pain and their signals are targeted through nerve fibers. It has been so far proven to be quite effective especially for patients that suffered from years of continuous pain with little to no effect even after acquiring various other therapies and using specialized drugs. This new development shows that the DRG model of treatment for lower back pain is indeed quite efficacious since even within a year of treatment, patients reported substantial improvement in their quality of life.
Variety of Screening Tests
While spinal cord injury treatment could come at a hefty price, it is undoubtedly required during severe cases. Nevertheless, medical practitioners and professional doctors have various tools and systematic approaches available to them to offer you an exact description and diagnosis for each individual case. These include:
- Blood Tests: ideally used to determine whether an infection or any other specific condition is causing pain.
- Bone Scan: specifically used to identify if there are any compressions, fractures, or even tumors within the bone itself. Used only on rare cases by doctors especially for persons suffering from osteoporosis.
- CT Scans & MRI: able to generate visual reports and images that relay the extent of the problem while also allowing doctors to pinpoint the cause of the pain itself.
- Nerve Studies: EMG or electromyography is able to measure electrical impulses created by our nerves. This test also studies in detail the response of your muscles to these electrical signals.
- X-Rays: one of the most basic yet still quite effective methods to have a look at the alignment of your bones within. However, more advanced radiography techniques have been introduced over the years.
Stem Cell Therapy
The entirety of this method of treatment rests fundamentally on the stem cell research that focuses on the replacement of damaged cells through regeneration. Though many studies have been conducted using animal models with substantial results, the same cannot be said for applications on mankind. Nevertheless, a pilot study conducted in 2011 including 10 patients did show remarkable improvement. Specifically, disability and lumbar pain were found to have been reduced by 48% and 61.5% respectively. These results were achieved within a quick span of 3 months of active treatment. Hence for patients that are suffering from back pain due to degenerative discs, such a treatment is quite viable. Unfortunately, stem cell therapies at the present cost quite a lot and are thus labeled prohibitively expensive. Hopefully in the future with further advancement in medicinal technology, it will become much more approachable even for people with little financial support.
We hope this post was able to offer you some great insights regarding how back pain treatment is been worked upon and improved considerably with the passage of time. If you have any questions or queries regarding the topic please feel free to let us know of your feedback in the comment section below.