Just peek outside! The first snow of this already colder-than-average season is falling and sticking… The time is here to act proactively and keep Michigan’s wonderful winter weather from taking a toll on your back. Following a few important tips outlined by our colleague Ann Duffy, M.A., P.T., could make all the difference if you need to plow through the snow. Ann serves as an officer of the American Physical Therapy Association and if interested, you can more from Ann at: www.physiquality.com.
Have you ever heard of the Tampa Scale for Kinesiophobia? Has anyone on your pain recovery healthcare team asked you to evaluate these statements at an office visit?
- I’m afraid that I might injure myself if I exercise
- My body is telling me that I have something dangerously wrong
- My accident has put my body at risk for the rest of my life
- I am afraid that I might injure myself accidently
- No one should have to exercise when he/she is in pain
Chances are that the health care professional who presented these statements to you were utilizing a 17 question scale known as the Tampa Scale for Kinesiophobia which was developed to measure an individual patient’s fear of movement related to chronic lower back pain.
Over the past month, we have shared with you a few of the most interesting topics and conversation emerging in the world of pain management. The September 2013 gathering of the American Academy of Pain Management (AAPM) allowed for discussion of a variety of topics with some of the most prominent research, development and clinical care professionals in our field.
One topic that clearly had a new, higher, level of important focus at this year’s gathering was an emerging field of research indicating that pain in children goes largely untreated. A study conducted by Purdue Pharma included data on 25.5 million pediatric patients and indicated that up to 76% of children in medical settings did not receive prescription pain medication. Conditions in the study associated with pain included sources of common childhood complaints like orthopedic conditions, trauma, arthritis, and migraine. (source: www.purduepharma.com)
Living with chronic pain – or recovering from acute pain – is, unfortunately, not limited to the world of adults and is an issue that many children live with, as well. We would like to address the topics of back pain in youth and chronic tension headaches in teens by providing you with information about some interesting current research and news related to both of these important subjects.
Headaches – A Study Beyond Medication
Pain in kids and teens is a real problem. In addressing the unique needs of this age group who live with any degree of on-going physical pain, Dr. Peter Przekop, lead author of a recent study on teens and pain, explains: “If you meet these kids, they’re not doing well in school, they don’t have friends, they’re staying home, they don’t feel good about themselves. That’s the thing I wanted to change, and that actually improved,” he pointed out. “I think they were able to cope with their overall pain and overall stress and change the way they perceived the world and how they perceived themselves.”(www.medscape.com/viewarticle/811915?src=wnl_edit_tpal&uac=210668CJ)
The signs are everywhere you look. Flu shots are being offered at every pharmacy, clinic and doctor’s office in town. Reports are that the 2012/’13 flu season was very bad. “Flu-related deaths range from 3,000 to 48,600 (average 23,600).” (www.flufacts.com/know/season.jsp) Will this year be worse? It is an exercise in sophisticated prediction projecting information regarding the upcoming season. Specific information, though, regarding the 2013 – 2014 year can be found on line at: www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/index.htm
The Flu, a nickname for the technical term Influenza, is a respiratory infection that produces fever, chills, sore throat, muscle aches, and cough that lasts a week or more. The flu can be deadly for the elderly, the very young, and those with compromised immune systems (Source:www.nvic.org/vaccines-and-diseases/Influenza.aspx)
Hurray for Summer! School’s out and the daily grind of books, backpacks, academic schedules and endless extracurricular commitments is on hold for a precious few warm and sunny weeks. Those of us with kids or grandkids in our lives are probably just enjoying the first weeks of vacation. Chances are that very few of us are thinking about back-to-school just yet. You can be sure that retailers are, though! Before you can blink twice, sales, specials and daily deals for every essential item a kid needs in his or her backpack will be everywhere. These items add up. In cost, of course, but also in a more literal sense – the weight of all these items really does add up! The heavy backpacks that our kids lug to school every day can be painful and possibly lead to chronic lower back and or neck/cervical injuries.
Kids shouldn’t carry more than 10 to 15 percent of their weight over their shoulders and on their backs according to Dr. Marvin T. Arnsdorff, co-founder of the Backpack Safety American. (www.backpacksafe.com) This means that your 60 pound 4th grader son should not have more than six to eight pounds in his backpack. An article featured on the website www.about.com has a “backpack weight calculator” function that is worth checking out.
When you are experiencing chronic pain, no matter the source or the cause, there is nothing you want more then to find relief. Chronic pain, including neuropathic pain stemming from degenerative disk disease, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, repetitive stress injuries and isolated accident-related injuries are a burden to the daily lives of our patients.
When the pain decreases, the healing can begin. Pharmacological pain management, including medications like ibuprofen based anti-inflammatories or epidural steroid injections are just part of a valuable set of tools we use today to get you back on your feet.
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