The current and major medical “crisis” in American medical care (other than the present medical insurance epiphany) is the use and abuse of opioid drugs by large numbers of patients, facilitated by too little well-informed prescribing processes by their doctors. This subject was discussed in this column in the Independent in the May 14, 2016, issue titled “Opioid Drug Use in America: How, Why, and What Things to Do.” I discussed the plan, “Choosing Wisely,” a multispecialty approach to evidence and educated -based medical treatment as relevant to pain therapy. A recently discussed illness and treatment in a non-medical magazine presents therapy and the Primary Care evaluation and files the opioid trouble even before it was widely appreciated.

One would normally not expect to locate advice and medical wisdom in the pages of Consumer Reports, the magazine guide that is valuable to general consumer tips, products, and purchasing services. Actually, my attention was drawn to the May 2009 issue by its own cover which presented an invitation to read about grocery store evaluations and means to save cash on groceries. Nevertheless, after reading another interesting article, I found information concerning recommendations about back pain to be an exceptional realistic and sensible way of educating readers (patients) about this common affliction. It's an article that is well worth reading (Consumer Reports, May, 2009, pages 12-13.) Notably, the Marshall-Lyon County Library has current issues of Consumer Reports open to its patrons. Older magazine articles may also be accessible on the web through the library website (marshalllyonlibrary.org) and ELM.

Whether or not it's the Monday morning backache of the “weekend warrior” sportsman or the lawn, yard or snow aficionado, the pain resulting from a home misstep, or the consequence of simply sleeping in an uncommon position or place, we could all really empathize with the person together with the sore back. Nevertheless, these normally brief and benign circumstances are not to be confused with those occasions involving the older adult and/or the individual with major sickness who suffers the spontaneous onset of localized serious back or “nerve” pain, frequently at night, or the elderly patient, often female, who has sudden back pain when doing household chores. Before embarking on treatment, these patients definitely should see their primary care physicians.

In my experience, most younger adults with “mechanical” back pain will improve with rest and supportive care within a couple of days.

Should you have critical medical history, be in an older age group, or incur symptoms of an alternate nature including numbness weakness, or one-sided back pain, it's generally strongly suggested that you consult your primary care physician before starting treatments. The Consumer Reports article describes the measures that your physician may use following your assessment to direct your analysis and therapy; frequently “basic treatments” may be helpful. More helpful tips on back pain at back pain forum

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