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[10 Nov 2015 | Comments Off on Codeine deaths more than doubled in Australia 2000-2009 | ]
Codeine deaths more than doubled in Australia 2000-2009

As you’ve no doubt recently heard, there are calls to make codeine a prescription drug. It is currently an over the counter pain reliever and something that a lot of people routinely use. Chances are you have used it yourself and if so, you may wonder what all the fuss is about. A new report published in The Medical Observer says that for the decade 2000-2009 the number of deaths from taking codeine in Australia more than doubled. Here are some of the key points from the article:

Almost half of these …

Exercise, Pain »

[18 Nov 2014 | Comments Off on Getting in shape for Summer | ]
Getting in shape for Summer

Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of people with injuries related to the sudden desire to quickly get in shape. Their exercise regime drifted a little over the winter months but with Summer approaching they need to get their bikini body back. Bravo I say! But, we need to temper that enthusiasm/desperation with a little common sense. If you’re trying to fit 6 months worth of training into the next 6 weeks read on.
I think the most common times people get injured is when they start a new activity, or …

Pain »

[7 Oct 2014 | Comments Off on New Warnings on Anti-Inflammatories | ]
New Warnings on Anti-Inflammatories

I just read an article on the Medical Observer website which said that the Therapeutic Goods Administrator (TGA) “will ramp up warnings on NSAID packages after a safety review found over-the-counter diclofenac was associated with liver damage and that NSAIDs in general were linked to adverse cardiovascular effects”.
The TGA has now suggested that these medications come with the following warning: “Warning: In rare cases, diclofenac has been associated with serious liver injury”.
A couple of choice quotes from the article:

Doctors have also been warned to avoid using prescription NSAIDs in patients with previous …

Pain »

[6 Aug 2014 | Comments Off on Paracetamol for back pain? | ]
Paracetamol for back pain?

I guess a lot of you saw the recent articles (such as this one in The Australian) questioning the effectiveness of Paracetamol for back pain. This is newsworthy because it is probably the first thing a doctor would recommend for back pain, so we want to know if it actually works. It has very few side effects, if any, so it’s almost certainly not going to be dangerous to take, but according to this new research, there may not be much point.
The study in question looked at 1,600 people with …

Featured, Pain »

[7 Jul 2014 | Comments Off on Think an injection will help? | ]
Think an injection will help?

Might need to think again. An article in The New York Times has cast uncertainty over the therapeutic value of spinal steroid injections. In a recent study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine no less, patients were given a plain anaesthetic injection, or the anaesthetic combined with the steroid. Here are a few quotes that summarise the results:

“the study, the largest randomized trial evaluating the treatment, found that patients receiving a standard stenosis injection — which combine a steroid and a local anesthetic — had no less pain and virtually …

Pain »

[17 Jun 2014 | Comments Off on The accuracy of info on Wikipedia | ]
The accuracy of info on Wikipedia

Thanks to the internet, we have access to more information that ever before. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to figure out whether something we read on the internet is true or not. Wikipedia is a site that always comes up very high on search engines, so if you’re ever looking to come up with a diagnosis or learn more about why your shoulder/knee/hip/head hurts, it’s a common place to end up. Sadly, a recent study has shown that the site is “riddled with errors”.
An article titled “Is Wikipedia Dangerous To …

Exercise, Featured, Pain »

[13 Feb 2014 | Comments Off on Treating Arthritis | ]
Treating Arthritis

A new study has come out saying that the best treatment for arthritis is exercise. This makes sense and is something I’ve long believed and I may even have posted about it once before with respect to knee arthritis and tai chi.
The pain associated with arthritis comes from things like the muscles tightening up around the joint (to try to stabilise it), the joint losing mobility and there being less fluid in the joint.
It would make sense then, that exercise would help. Exercise increase your flexibility, your balance, promotes blood flow …

Pain, Your Body »

[30 Jan 2014 | Comments Off on Spinal Injections | ]
Spinal Injections

New research has come out questioning the effectiveness of spinal injections. Titled “Time to reconsider steroid injections in the spine?”, the article in the latest edition of the Medical Journal of Australia lists the following points, which I’ll post for your consideration:

The largest of these showed marginal short-term (2-week) improvement in the steroid and local anaesthetic group over the saline group for the primary outcome (leg pain), an effect that was not sustained by 4 weeks.
Short-term relief is a common finding in studies that use local anaesthetic in the active group.
We …

Pain, Your Body »

[24 Oct 2013 | Comments Off on Need a Second Opinion? | ]
Need a Second Opinion?

I just read this article on The New York Times website which talked about the rate of misdiagnosis in the medical fraternity. This follows on from a number of earlier articles questioning the necessity of many surgeries. If your condition is not life threatening and especially if it involves your musculoskeletal system don’t be afraid to seek a second opinion before agreeing to surgery or injections.
I’ll leave you with this quote: “In the United States and Canada it is estimated that 50,000 hospital deaths each year could have been prevented …

Pain, Your Body »

[17 Oct 2013 | Comments Off on The truth about back pain | ]
The truth about back pain

I just read a great article that ran with the title “The truth about back pain“. It was a breakdown of the success (or otherwise) of various treatment approaches for low back pain, and it’s well worth a read. It outlines the risks associated with injections, painkillers, unnecessary medical scans and surgery. But if you’re short on time, here are a few choice quotes:
“In 2012, an outbreak of fungal meningitis in the US was traced to contaminated epidural steroid injections administered for back pain – more than 700 people had …