Journal Articles About Back Pain and Arthritis

Today, there are hundreds of different resources that patients have available to them to learn about the causes of back pain and the treatment options available. All of these resources are designed to make patients aware of why they may suffer from back pain, and what options they have to treat it. Some of these resources come from the back specialists and what types of services they may provide in order to make patients feel better. These back specialists may or may not be biased in how successful their specific treatments are, compared to other specialists that are trained in other areas of back medicine. Some back resources come from companies who offer medications that are designed to treat pain and inflammation associated with joint disorders that cause back pain. Pharmaceutical companies may overrate the benefits of their medications while minimizing the complications and side effects that their treatments may cause. Some back resources come from companies that provide products in a back store or supplements that are designed to treat the causes of back pain. These stores may explain the causes of certain cases of back pain, and the science behind the products that they offer to treat these causes. These stores may under-represent the clinical benefits of their products for the purposes of generating sales.



Some back resources come from educational sources that are more grounded in hard science and non-biased research. These educational sources are typically presented in health science books, non-profit health websites (e.g. The Arthritis Foundation @ www.arthritis.org) and scientific journal articles. The data and information that is gathered from these organizations and medical journals mostly comes from studies that either gathers data from patients about their back pain symptoms and double-blinded studies. Double blinded studies are research studies in which treatments for certain diseases are given to patients, and the effects of these treatments are recorded, without either the researcher or the subjects aware of what the specific treatments are. The person that administers the treatment doesn't know what medications they are administering, now does the patient know what they are receiving. These types of studies usually involve medications or health supplements that may or may not provide clinical benefits towards treating or curing the symptoms of disease (e.g. somatic pain, nerve pain, numbness, stiffness, burning). Typically these studies will involve one or more pharmaceutical treatments, and a placebo treatment group. The addition of the placebo group is used to compare patients who may be getting clinically significant pain relief against those who just feel like they are getting better because of the placebo effect. Placebos when taken as either medications or supplements are usually composed of sugar or other inert substances that have no chance of causing changes in the body. Patients/subjects who experience the placebo effect are those who report a reduction of their negative symptoms associated with their medical condition as a result of a treatment they think they are getting.

Data that is collected and interpreted from double-blinded research studies and others that involve the categorization of large amounts of data related to pain conditions hopefully will help patients to understand the causes of their disease and the best management options available to them. Most people with back pain and other musculoskeletal conditions are savvy enough to know that western medical treatments are more likely to be effective at treating their condition but also have a significant chance of some side effects. These same people know that back surgery is a last resort treatment which has an even larger chance of complications and side effects. These same people know that alternative therapies for back pain and arthritis have a smaller rate of complications, because they contain natural products. But do these treatments provide significant benefits related to snake oil salesman products. These journal articles about back pain and arthritis takes a close look at how effective western vs. alternative treatments really are, and the chances that they may actually help or hurt us. Let's take a look at some of the most well known journal articles out there and what we may learn from them.

Physiotherapy in early phase of low back pain published by Markku Paatelma in Orthopedic Research and Reviews March 17th, 2011

This article took a look at about 140 patients with lower back pain, and measured how well they responded to various types of physical therapy, early in their treatment program. Patient were divided into several groups, according the physiotherapy program they were prescribed. One of these groups was not given a directly supervised treatment program, but was given the general advice to stay active. A second group was given orthopedic manual therapy OMT. A third group was given the McKenzie method for the same number of treatment sessions. Here is a quick summary of the results.

These subjects were analyzed a year later to measure whether or not they suffered from radiating pain or days lost from work related to lower back pain. The advice only group suffered from more radiating pain and sick days. The clinical treatment groups reported slightly better results, in terms of lingering pain and disability.