Items in AFP with MESH term: Back Pain

Evaluation of Back Pain in Children and Adolescents - Article

ABSTRACT: Back pain is fairly prevalent in healthy children and adolescents. When children or adolescents seek medical care for back pain, it is highly likely that underlying pathology will be identified. Common causes of back pain include nonspecific pain or muscle strain, herniated disk, spondylolysis, scoliosis, and Scheuermann's kyphosis. Less common causes include tumor, infection, and sickle cell crisis. If nonspecific back pain is suspected, treatment may include home-based exercise, physical therapy, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. If the history and physical examination suggest underlying pathology, radiography, complete blood count, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and a C-reactive protein measurement should be performed. Follow-up magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography, or bone scanning may be needed depending on the suspected cause. It is generally accepted that the following factors warrant immediate evaluation: patient age younger than four years, persistent symptoms, self-imposed activity limitations, systemic symptoms, increasing discomfort, persistent night-time pain, and neurologic symptoms.


Choosing a Skeletal Muscle Relaxant - Article

ABSTRACT: Skeletal muscle relaxants are widely used in treating musculoskeletal conditions. However, evidence of their effectiveness consists mainly of studies with poor methodologic design. In addition, these drugs have not been proven to be superior to acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for low back pain. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses support using skeletal muscle relaxants for short-term relief of acute low back pain when nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or acetaminophen are not effective or tolerated. Comparison studies have not shown one skeletal muscle relaxant to be superior to another. Cyclobenzaprine is the most heavily studied and has been shown to be effective for various musculoskeletal conditions. The sedative properties of tizanidine and cyclobenzaprine may benefit patients with insomnia caused by severe muscle spasms. Methocarbamol and metaxalone are less sedating, although effectiveness evidence is limited. Adverse effects, particularly dizziness and drowsiness, are consistently reported with all skeletal muscle relaxants. The potential adverse effects should be communicated clearly to the patient. Because of limited comparable effectiveness data, choice of agent should be based on side-effect profile, patient preference, abuse potential, and possible drug interactions.


Shoulder Pain with a Lung Mass - Photo Quiz


Osteoporosis in Men - Article

ABSTRACT: Osteoporosis is an important and often overlooked problem in men. Although the lifetime risk of hip fracture is lower in men than in women, men are twice as likely to die after a hip fracture. Bone mineral density measurement with a T-score of -2.5 or less indicates osteoporosis. The American College of Physicians recommends beginning periodic osteoporosis risk assessment in men before 65 years of age and performing dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry for men at increased risk of osteoporosis who are candidates for drug therapy. All men diagnosed with osteoporosis should be evaluated for secondary causes of bone loss. The decision regarding treatment of osteoporosis should be based on clinical evaluation, diagnostic workup, fracture risk assessments, and bone mineral density measurements. Pharmacotherapy is recommended for men with osteoporosis and for high-risk men with low bone mass (osteopenia) with a T-score of -1 to -2.5. Bisphosphonates are the first-line agents for treating osteoporosis in men. Teriparatide (i.e., recombinant human parathyroid hormone) is an option for men with severe osteoporosis. Testosterone therapy is beneficial for men with osteoporosis and hypogonadism. Adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D should be encouraged in all men to maintain bone mass. Men should be educated regarding lifestyle measures, which include weight-bearing exercise, limiting alcohol consumption, and smoking cessation. Fall prevention strategies should be implemented in older men at risk of falls.


Opioid Therapy for Chronic Noncancer Pain - Cochrane for Clinicians


Appropriate Use of MRI for Evaluating Common Musculoskeletal Conditions - Editorials


A Pilot Grounded: Living with Chronic Back Pain - Close-ups



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