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Back pain treatments being questioned

Chronic back pain is a serious problem and is, unfortunately, extremely painful. For many, back pain is caused by a workplace accident or just the stresses a job will put on the back. For some, back pain can be relatively mild, but for others it is enough to put them out of work and forcing them to apply for Colorado workers' compensation.

Doctors have a number of ways to help relieve patients of that pain, including surgery, medications and shots. Chiropractic methods, yoga and acupuncture can also be used.

However, sometimes certain medical treatments only help temporarily. For example, a 65-year-old nursing assistant dealt with back pain stemming from her job of lifting patients and moving heavy items. For decades, she has been seeing a chiropractor, and she has refused to undergo a third surgical procedure recommended by her doctor because the chiropractic methods are working.

Some critics are saying many doctors try to find quick fixes for back pain by relying heavily on surgeries or strong medications when other less harmful and less expensive remedies could work just as well. Drugs can also create addicts, say some critics. Underlying conditions should be looked at more closely than simply the pain being felt by patients.

Of course the most recent tragedy dealing with a steroid medication used to treat back pain has been making headlines. More than 350 people in the United States became ill after being given a pain medication tainted with fungal meningitis. More than 25 people in 19 states have died from the illness they received from the injection. The issue has forced the medical industry to take a closer look at how it treats people with back pain.

Some doctors, however, are saying it is atypical for most patients to have pain-relieving surgery, because they will make sure to use non-invasive measures first.

Regardless of how it is treated, anyone in Colorado who injures his or her back at work should be able to receive workers' compensation.

Source: The Baltimore Sun, "Meningitis outbreak brings attention to treatment of back pain," Andrea K. Walker, Nov. 4, 2012

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Eley Law Firm
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