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Study: Back Pain Patients Seek Pain Relief over Mobility

Pain ReliefBack pain is a common health problem worldwide. In most cases, chronic back pain occurs due to muscle or ligament strain, bad posture, heavy or strenuous work, bulging/ruptured disk or skeletal irregularities. It can also arise due to an injury or diseases such as sciatica, frozen shoulder, arthritis or whiplash injury. The signs and symptoms associated with the condition vary from one person to another depending on the nature and location of the injury.

Health Day recently reported on a study which found that pain relief is a greater concern than mobility for people suffering from lumbar spinal stenosis, a common form of lower back pain. The researchers found that when patients were asked to choose between a treatment modality that would reduce discomfort and one that would help them stand and walk, the vast majority wanted to ease their level of pain.

Spinal stenosis is a disorder caused due to the narrowing of the spinal canal which happens as a result of the degeneration of both the facet joints and the intervertebral discs. Bone spurs also grow into the spinal canal, compressing the nerve roots causing pain, tingling sensations and numbness in the lower back area and legs. In most cases, patients experience severe pain when they stand or walk.

As part of the study, about 270 patients who experienced severe back pain with problems while standing and walking were analyzed. The participants were asked to choose between a treatment modality that would reduce their amount of pain and one that would help them stand and walk easily. It was found that about 80 percent of the patients preferred pain relief to mobility.

The study’s lead researcher Dr. John Markman pointed out, “There has long been a debate in the medical community over striking the right balance between pain relief and physical function”. He said that while physicians stressed the need to increase mobility, this study showed that patients clearly prefer pain relief. The results of the research were published in the Journal of Neurology.

The results of the study show that patients are playing a crucial role in setting new standards for pain relief. It highlights the need to prioritize pain relief as this is what more people want.

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