Recent Information on Back Pain

A study recently completed at the University of Waterloo has refuted the popular belief that spooning is always the best sex position for those with a bad back.

Pioneering combined infrared and electromagnetic motion capture systems were used to track how 10 couples’ spines moved when attempting five common sex positions. The findings were then used to create a set of guidelines that can be used to recommend different sex positions and thrusting techniques based on what movements trigger a patient’s pain.  The study also shed light on the mechanics of the male orgasm for the first time . In the study, electrodes were hooked up to the male participants’ muscles and revealed that it is actually abdominal and buttock, not back muscles, that are most active during orgasm.  The authors report that “These initial findings help us to begin to understand what might be provoking their pain during the moment of climax.”

Detailed of the original article can be found here in the journal, Spine.

October 31, 2013

According to a recent study from the Loyola University Medical Center, lower back injuries are the third most common injuries suffered in athletes under age 18. The study enrolled more than 1,200 young athletes suffering total of 843 injuries. Of the injuries lower back injuries was the third most common of those report at 15.1% (127 injuries) while knee was the most common at 31.1 percent, ankle was second (16 percent) followed by concussions (13.4 percent), shoulder (10.7 percent) and then hip (6.4 percent).  Thirty-nine percent of the injuries were reported as serious while 61% were categorized as less serious.

Principle investigator,  Neeru Jayanthi, MD reported that back injuries were more common in young athletes who focused a single sport and spent an average of 12.7 hours per week playing sports.   The authors offer the 9 tips to help reduce the risk of injuries in young athletes.

More details regarding the study can be found here.


September 2, 2007

St. George Hospital’s Orthopedic Research Institute reports a discovery that may provide pain relief for anyone suffering from degenerative disc disease, slipped disc or sciatica without involving major back surgery.

Lead orthopedic surgeon Dr Ashish Diwan and his team have discovered a natural human growth hormone, bone morphogenetic protein 7 (BMP-7), that reportedly stops degeneration or death of disc cells and may even cause production of new disc cells replacing the cushioning effect lost in these diseases.

Injection of the protein into the spine could cause thousands of patients to avoid risky spinal fusion surgery or artificial disc implants. Currently used instead of bone grafts, BMPs are the only proteins known to induce new bone formation. Theoretically a simple disc injection could be used to prevent chronic or reoccurring back pain and avoid surgery which in turn would help cut down on hospital stays and time off from work.

The St George researchers are working with Stryker Corporation, one of the world’s largest medical device companies, to begin clinical trials in humans. It is not expected that the drug will be on the market for at least 5 years.

The Sydney Morning Herald

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