Therapeutic Laser For Chronic Low Back Pain
Low back pain will affect 75-85% of all Americans at some point during their lifetime. Approximately 50% of them will have a recurrence within a year. Approximately 90% improve without surgery.1 Low back pain is the number 2 reason that Americans see their doctorsecond only to colds and flu. Approximately 7.4% of patients with low back pain account for 75% of the money spent on low back pain.3 The vast majority of acute low back pain is the result of injury such as sprain or strain, while the cause of chronic low back pain is multi-factorial.2 Chronic low back pain is defined as pain of more than three months duration. It occurs in 2-8% of those who experience low back pain.3
The five most common pain producing structures of low back pain are:
1. Posterior longitudinal ligament
2. Interspinous ligament
3. Spinal nerve root
4. Facet joints
5. Deep muscles.
These structures do not fully account for the pain experienced by many chronic low back pain sufferers. The exact mechanisms of the causes of chronic low back pain continue to be a mystery. Recent scientific studies have implicated a number of chemical mediators as possible contributors to the production of chronic low back pain. These include:
The peptide somatostatin
Pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1, IL-6, IL-10, and TNF-alpha
Patients with chronic low back pain may also have emotional factors such as depression with a four times higher incidence of clinical depression than those without chronic low back pain. Studies have shown that 62% of the patients treated at pain clinics for low back pain have some type of depression.5'
Please refer to the Jan/Feb 2007 issue for the complete text. In the event you need to order a back issue, please click here.