Monday March 18, 2019

Treatment for lower back pain poor, harmful globally: Lancet

Current treatments including opioids, injections and surgery to treat lower back pain -- the leading cause of disability globally

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Researchers study patterns of back pain. IANS

Current treatments including opioids, injections and surgery to treat lower back pain — the leading cause of disability globally — are useless, unnecessary and harmful, finds a series of studies in The Lancet. Globally, lower back pain affects more than 540 million people and the condition has doubled in the last 25 years.

The prevalence of the condition is expected to continue to increase with an ageing and increasingly obese population. Medical care with inappropriately high use of imaging, rest, opioids, spinal injections, and surgery is making the problem worse in both developed and developing countries, the findings showed.

desk job
Sitting on your work-desk for extended hours may be the reason for the shooting pain in your back and body. Pixabay

“The burden from low back pain has reached a tipping point where the condition is growing rapidly, is poorly understood and is being mismanaged medically — at cost both to the patient and to the healthcare system,” said Rachelle Buchbinder, Professor at the Monash University in Melbourne.

“Low-and middle-income countries are already emulating the low-value care that is endemic in high-income countries. “Across the globe (there is) inappropriately high use of imaging, rest, opioids, spinal injections and surgery. Doing more of the same will not reduce low back pain disability nor its long term consequences,” Buchbinder said.

People with physically demanding jobs, physical and mental comorbidities, smokers, and obese individuals are at greatest risk of reporting low back pain.

Also Read: Lower Back pain reduced by muscle exercise

The researchers call for a coordinated international leadership to drive transformational change across health and social services and occupational settings to stop fragmented and outdated models of care. They also call for avoidance of the harmful and useless medical treatments through the adoption of a similar framework to drug regulation.

Public health campaigns need to address the widespread population and health professional misconceptions about the causes and prognosis of low back pain and the effectiveness of different treatments. IANS

Next Story

Researchers Develop Novel Treatment to Treat Diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis

However, in people with autoimmune disease, these cells somehow escape the checkpoint and the immune system remains in a state of alert, attacking body cells

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Diabetes
Representational image. Pixabay

Researchers have developed a novel and safe treatment for autoimmune diseases including Type-1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis (MS) that arise when the body’s immune cells attack itself.

Current treatments eliminate these misfunctioning immune cells, but also destroy normal, protective immune cells, leaving patients susceptible to immune deficiency and opportunistic infections.

The new approach, by researchers from the University of Utah in the US, targets the misfunctioning immune cells while leaving the normal immune cells in place.

In the study, published in the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering, the team engineered a protein molecule to deplete the misfunctioning PD-1-expressing cells from the body while leaving normal immune cells in place.

“We wanted to target PD-1-expressing cells. Using this method, we may avoid long-term immune deficiency caused by common treatments for autoimmune disease,” said lead author Peng Zhao, from the varsity.

When tested in a mouse model mimicking Type-1 diabetes, the treatment delayed the onset of diabetes.

“We are really taking treatment for autoimmune disease in a new direction,” said Mingnan Chen, Assistant Professor at the varsity.

Diabetes
Representational image. Pixabay

“To make similar therapeutics for people, we would need to find the anti-human PD-1 antibody, like the anti-mouse PD-1 antibody.

“If we can generate the human version of therapeutics, I think we could make a huge impact in treating autoimmune disease,” Chen said.

In addition, the treatment was also applied to a mouse MS model.

Also Read- Mouth Watering Biryani Ordered Online Has Become New Normal for Millennials

Besides halting the progression of paralysis, the treatment also restored the mice’s ability to walk.

In a normal functioning immune system, the PD-1-expressing cells, including immune cells, contain a mechanism that prevents the cycle from attacking itself.

However, in people with autoimmune disease, these cells somehow escape the checkpoint and the immune system remains in a state of alert, attacking body cells. (IANS)