Advertisement

Advertisement

low back pain

Current Management of Symptomatic Lumbar Disc Herniation

Teaser: 

Parham Rasoulinejad, MD, FRCSC, MSc, 1 Jennifer C. Urquhart, PhD,2 Christopher S. Bailey, MD, FRCSC, MSc, 2

1Orthopaedic Surgeon, Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, London Health Sciences Center, and Assistant Professor, Dept. of Surgery, University of Western Ontario, London, ON.
2Research Associate, Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, London Health Sciences Center, and Lawson Health Research Institute, London, ON.
3Orthopaedic Surgeon, Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, London Health Sciences Center, and Associate Professor, Dept. of Surgery, University of Western Ontario, London, ON.

CLINICAL TOOLS

Abstract: Lumbar disc herniation is a common cause of low back pain and radiculopathy (sciatica). Diagnosis is initially made based on history and physical examination and ruling out red flags, particularly surgical emergencies such as Cauda Equina Syndrome. A trial of conservative treatment consisting of physical rehabilitation and oral medication is usually successful for back dominant pain. When persistent radiculopathy indicates lumbar discectomy the diagnosis must be confirmed by imaging but, due to very high rates of asymptomatic disc herniation, imaging cannot replace clinical diagnosis. For disabling leg dominant pain discectomy results in faster recovery but has a similar long-term outcomes compared to conservative treatment.
Key Words: lumbar disc herniation, lower back pain, sciatica, radiculopathy.

Members of the College of Family Physicians of Canada may claim MAINPRO-M2 Credits for this unaccredited educational program.

www.cfpc.ca/Mainpro_M2

You can take quizzes without subscribing; however, your results will not be stored. Subscribers will have access to their quiz results for future reference.

Lumbar disc herniation is common and frequently asymptomatic.
Lumbar disc herniation may result in back pain. Much less frequently, when the adjacent nerve root is involved it can cause radiculopathy (sciatica).
Under most circumstances, the symptoms of lumbar disc herniation can be managed conservatively with physical rehabilitation and oral medications.
Red flags and surgical emergencies such as Cauda Equina Syndrome must be considered and should lead to urgent imaging and surgical referral.
Imaging, particularly MRI, has high rates of false positives and should only be used to confirm a diagnosis made based on history and physical examination.
For disabling persistent radiculopathy with good radiological correlation, surgical intervention in the form of a discectomy can be considered.
Lumbar disc herniation (LDH) is common and in most cases asymptomatic. Findings on MRI of lumbar disc herniation are not predictive of future back related disability. MRI findings should be interpreted along with history and physical exam findings to determine the appropriate diagnosis.
LDH can result in back pain and, when the adjacent nerve root is involved, radicular leg pain. The first line of treatment for back dominant pain should be education, lifestyle modification, mechanical therapy and oral medications in the form of acetaminophen, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories.
Radicular leg dominant pain may require opioids and/or epidural corticosteroid injections. The majority of patients will improve without further intervention.
For persistent symptoms of sciatica, surgical intervention can be considered. Lumbar discectomy is the most common procedure performed and has good to excellent outcomes.
To have access to full article that these tools were developed for, please subscribe. The cost to subscribe is only $20 USD per year and you will gain full access to all the premium content on www.healthplexus.net, an educational portal, that hosts 1000s of clinical reviews, case studies, educational visual aids and more as well as within the mobile app.

Interventional Radiology Procedures for Chronic Low Back Pain

Teaser: 

Dr. Ted Findlay, D.O., CCFP,1 Amar Suchak, MD, FRCP(C), 2

1is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Calgary. He is also in a Private Family Medicine practice. In addition he is on Medical Staff at Alberta Health Services, Calgary Zone in Calgary, Alberta.
2Clinical Assistant Professor Department of Radiology, Department of Nuclear Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta.

CLINICAL TOOLS

Abstract: There is an increasing availability and clinical use of interventional radiological techniques for patients with low back pain. This can be a valuable additional tool in the management of low back pain that has not responded to conservative treatment. However, the clinical indications and appropriate uses as well as cautions that apply to this treatment modality are in many cases less well understood by the primary care practitioner. The objective of this article is to review clinical scenarios in which these procedures are commonly considered, as well as their limitations. The field of interventional radiology is one that is rapidly evolving and an area of active clinical research. It is important for the primary care practitioner to have a basic understanding of the current state of the art in order to have an informed discussion with their patients who may be seeking advice on this treatment option.
Key Words: Low back pain; treatment; interventional radiology definitions; interventional radiology indications; interventional radiology complications.

Members of the College of Family Physicians of Canada may claim MAINPRO-M2 Credits for this unaccredited educational program.

www.cfpc.ca/Mainpro_M2

You can take quizzes without subscribing; however, your results will not be stored. Subscribers will have access to their quiz results for future reference.

1. In patients carefully selected by clinical and radiological examination, there can be satisfying clinical gains from the use of currently available interventional radiologic procedures.
2. One must not assume that abnormal findings on radiologic imaging immediately explains the anatomical cause of a patient's low back pain; a corresponding accurate history and physical examination is ideal prior to commencing injections.
3. When successful, the gains from radiological interventions should be considered one portion of a broader clinical treatment plan, rather than the entire plan of management.
4. Unsuccessful interventional procedures should not be repeated.
1. Do not apply repeated interventional procedures with an expectation that one of them will find the target source of the patient's low back pain.
2. Although they may be uncommon, interventional radiology risks can occur and the referring physician should be cognizant of these dangers that accumulate with repeated interventions.
To have access to full article that these tools were developed for, please subscribe. The cost to subscribe is only $20 USD per year and you will gain full access to all the premium content on www.healthplexus.net, an educational portal, that hosts 1000s of clinical reviews, case studies, educational visual aids and more as well as within the mobile app.

CORE BACK TOOL 2016: New and Improved!

Members of the College of Family Physicians of Canada may claim MAINPRO-M2 Credits for this unaccredited educational program.

www.cfpc.ca/Mainpro_M2
Teaser: 

Dr. Julia Alleyne, BHSc(PT), MD, CCFP, Dip. Sport Med MScCH,1 Yoga Raja Rampersaud, MD, FRCSC,2 Jess Rogers3Dr. Hamilton Hall, MD, FRCSC,4

1 is a Family Physician practising Sport and Exercise Medicine at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, University Health Network. She is appointed at the University of Toronto, Department of Family and Community Medicine as an Associate Clinical Professor.
2Associate Professor Department of Surgery, University of Toronto, Divisions of Orthopaedic and Neurosurgery, University Health Network Medical Director, Back and Neck Specialty Program, Altum Health, Past President Canadian Spine Society, Toronto, ON.
3 is the Director at the Centre for Effective Practice (CEP). Jess' role includes developing evidence-based clinical guidance for providers. Jess was the Project Lead in executing the primary care provider education component of Ontario's Low Back Pain initiative including the CORE Back Tool. CEP is pleased to have funded the update of the CORE Back Tool 2016 to continue supporting primary care providers.
4 is a Professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Toronto. He is the Medical Director, CBI Health Group and Executive Director of the Canadian Spine Society in Toronto, Ontario.

CLINICAL TOOLS

Abstract: Through the redesign of the already successful Clinically Organized Relevant Exam (CORE) Back Tool, primary care clinicians now have a more comprehensive, user-friendly approach to clinical decision making for patients presenting with low back pain. The key components of the tool include a high yield history connected to mechanical low back pain patterns, embedded key patient messages, clear listing of appropriate radiological indications, criteria for consultant referrals as well as a management matrix geared to office practice. A clinical case will be used to demonstrate the application of the tool to practice and instruct the reader on the key features.
Key Words: Low Back Pain, Tool, Primary Care Providers, Management.

Members of the College of Family Physicians of Canada may claim MAINPRO-M2 Credits for this unaccredited educational program.

www.cfpc.ca/Mainpro_M2

You can take quizzes without subscribing; however, your results will not be stored. Subscribers will have access to their quiz results for future reference.

1. Mechanical Patterns are a logical way to conceptualize, assess and manage low back pain.
2. If pain does not fit a mechanical pattern, the patient may have non-spine referred pain from organs or a chronic pain disorder.
3. Radicular (nerve) pain will have a positive straight leg raise (SLR) with reproduction of the typical leg dominant pain and possible abnormal neurological signs.
Initial patient management should include goals of reducing pain and increasing activity.
To have access to full article that these tools were developed for, please subscribe. The cost to subscribe is only $20 USD per year and you will gain full access to all the premium content on www.healthplexus.net, an educational portal, that hosts 1000s of clinical reviews, case studies, educational visual aids and more as well as within the mobile app.

Diagnostic Radiology in Low Back Pain

Diagnostic Radiology in Low Back Pain

Teaser: 

Dr. Ted Findlay, D.O., CCFP,1 Amar Suchak, MD, FRCP(C),2

1Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Calgary, Private Family Medicine practice, Medical Staff, Alberta Health Services, Calgary Zone, Calgary, Alberta.
2Clinical Assistant Professor Department of Radiology, Department of Nuclear Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta.

CLINICAL TOOLS

Abstract: Many clinicians believe that imaging is necessary to accurately diagnose and manage low back pain. However, there is good evidence that in the absence of "Red Flags", there is an overuse of both routine X-rays and advanced diagnostic imaging such as MRI. When imaging is used without appropriate clinical indications, it is rare for the results to lead to a change in a treatment plan. Management is based on adequate history and confirmatory physical examination. This article uses three actual cases as the basis for exploring the place of diagnostic imaging in treating low back pain.
Key Words: low back pain, diagnosis, radiology, indications, appropriate.

Members of the College of Family Physicians of Canada may claim MAINPRO-M2 Credits for this unaccredited educational program.

www.cfpc.ca/Mainpro_M2

You can take quizzes without subscribing; however, your results will not be stored. Subscribers will have access to their quiz results for future reference.

1. While imaging may be required in the management of specific cases of low back pain particularly when "Red Flags" are present, it is rare that unexpected findings will result in a change of the treatment plan.
2. Be very cautious about the terminology used to describe the results of imaging studies and whenever possible normalize the results for the patient. Many abnormal findings may be "normal" for patients in older age groups. Many may be present in patients who are pain free.
3. Ensure that the patient understands that the results of the images are not necessarily a barrier to recovery.
4. Except to establish the boney contours of the spine, when advanced imaging is required an MRI examination is often the preferred option.
5. Be very cautious about attributing the cause of a patient's pain to the results found on imaging. Careful correlation with the clinical presentation is required before deciding on any change in treatment.
In the absence of clinical "Red Flags", there is no indication to image the spine before initiating treatment.
It is never appropriate to delay treatment for mechanical low back pain to wait for an imaging procedure.
Prepare the patient, before advanced imaging is performed, that there is a very high likelihood that the investigation will find "abnormalities" but that these changes are usually the result of natural aging and no cause for concern.
To have access to full article that these tools were developed for, please subscribe. The cost to subscribe is only $20 USD per year and you will gain full access to all the premium content on www.healthplexus.net, an educational portal, that hosts 1000s of clinical reviews, case studies, educational visual aids and more as well as within the mobile app.

Passive Straight Leg Raise Test: Definition, Interpretation, Limitations and Utilization

Passive Straight Leg Raise Test: Definition, Interpretation, Limitations and Utilization

Members of the College of Family Physicians of Canada may claim MAINPRO-M2 Credits for this unaccredited educational program.

www.cfpc.ca/Mainpro_M2
Teaser: 

Dr. Hamilton Hall, MD, FRCSC, is a Professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Toronto. He is the Medical Director, CBI Health Group and Executive Director of the Canadian Spine Society in Toronto, Ontario.
Greg McIntosh, MSc, completed his Masters in Epidemiology from the University of Toronto's Faculty of Medicine. He is currently the Director of Clinical Research for CBI Health Group and research consultant to the Canadian Spine Society.

Abstract
This article highlights the myths and misunderstandings surrounding the straight leg raise (SLR) test for sciatica. Unfortunately, neither intra- nor inter-observer reliability of the passive SLR test has ever been agreed upon. In addition, there is poor consensus about what constitutes a positive SLR test in terms of pain location, leg elevation limitation or clinical significance. Until there are stricter performance standards and uniform agreement, researchers and clinicians should interpret the test with caution. We believe a true positive SLR should be the reproduction or exacerbation of the typical leg dominant pain in the affected limb at any degree of passive elevation. Those with only increased back pain or any leg pain other than that presenting as the chief complaint should be regarded as false positives.
Key Words: low back pain, straight leg raise, sciatica, irritative test.

Indications for Rehabilitation in Acute Low Back Pain: Making a Correct Referral

Indications for Rehabilitation in Acute Low Back Pain: Making a Correct Referral

Members of the College of Family Physicians of Canada may claim MAINPRO-M2 Credits for this unaccredited educational program.

www.cfpc.ca/Mainpro_M2
Teaser: 

Dr. Julia Alleyne, BHSc(PT), MD, CCFP, Dip. Sport Med MScCH, is a Family Physician practising Sport and Exercise Medicine at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, University Health Network. In addition, she trained as a physiotherapist and maintained an active license for 30 years. She is appointed at the University of Toronto, Department of Family and Community Medicine as an Associate Clinical Professor.

Greg McIntosh, MSc, completed his Masters in Epidemiology from the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Medicine. He is currently the Director of Clinical Research for CBI Health Group and research consultant to the Canadian Spine Society.

Abstract
This article helps clinicians decide on appropriate referral to rehabilitation professionals while answering some of the common questions that clinicians are often asked by low back patients. The evidence for appropriate rehabilitation techniques will be interwoven into this article to promote a critical appraisal approach to evaluating rehabilitation outcomes. At the conclusion of this paper, clinicians should be able to identify best practices for rehabilitation referral.
Key Words: Low back pain, indications, rehabilitation, inter-professional referral.

We've got your back: HealthPlexus and the Canadian Spine Society Announce the Launch of the Back Health CME Resource

Author(s): 
Deck: 
The Canadian Spine Society, as part of its educational mandate, is partnering with www.healthplexus.net and the Journal of Current Clinical Care…
Thumbnail Image: 
Teaser: 
HealthPlexus.net
For immediate release:
January 7th 2014


The Canadian Spine Society (CSS), as part of its educational mandate, is partnering with www.healthplexus.net (HealthPlexus) and the Journal of Current Clinical Care (JCCC) to promote best practices and knowledge translation for fast and effective diagnosis and management of back pain.

As part of the multi-faceted collaboration, CSS and HealthPlexus will work on a comprehensive continuing education program aimed at healthcare professionals that will be delivered via www.healthplexus.net and the Journal of Current Clinical Care.

Dr. Hamilton Hall is a well-recognized key opinion leader both nationally and internationally on the subject of back pain. He has taken on the position of Editor-in-Chief for the Back Health Resource Center @HealthPlexus.

Dr. Hall and his colleagues from the CSS will present an ongoing series of Clinical Reviews and Case Studies, which will be available through the HealthPlexus channels. Their goal is to provide those healthcare professionals who are managing patients with back health issues with deeper knowledge and increased ability to address their patients' needs.

"Numerous population wide surveys have confirmed that arthritic disorders that limit mobility are the most important factors in impairing quality of life for older adults. Back pain is one of the key issues limiting mobility, and I applaud HealthPlexus for addressing this very important topic."

-Barry J. Goldlist, MD, FRCPC, FACP, AGSF, senior member of the advisory board for HealthPlexus.net [Geriatrics and Dementia] and the Journal of Current Clinical Care. Dr. Goldlist is a nationally recognized geriatrician with a long standing interest in medical education and medical journalism.

“For practitioners who look after the adult population, especially those in the middle and later years, disorders of musculo-skeletal mobility and acute and chronic pain is one of the most common challenges they face with their patients. There is enormous suffering and impairment of full function and ability to participate in normal activities much less those of a recreational nature when someone experiences back pain that is unrelieved by simple and safe methods. Having an additional means to learn about and find methods to address the issues of back pain with all its complexities of diagnosis and treatment, is an important addition to the HealthPlexus spectrum of clinical support for practicing physicians.”

-Michael Gordon, MD, MSc, FRCPC, FACP, the Editor-in-Chief of the Dementia Educational Resource. Dr. Gordon is the Medical Program Director of Palliative Care at Baycrest Geriatric Health Care System

"As a medical professional who has trained as both a Radiologist and a Family physician, I have seen many patients who suffer from the entire spectrum of lower back pain. I don't think that medical school and residency prepares you enough to adequately to deal with the complexity of this condition. A dedicated CME resource focusing on back health is a much needed tool for both students and practicing physicians who wish to acquire skills and keep their skills up to date on this subject. Dr. Hall is eminently qualified for such an endeavor. I still recall his teachings, some years ago now, in my medical school class at the University of Toronto vividly. As medical editor of the Journal of Current clinical Care, I encourage you to take advantage of this learning opportunity."

-D’Arcy Little, MD, CCFP, FRCPC, the editorial director of HealthPlexus.net and its sister publication, the Journal of Current Clinical Care. Dr. Little is a family physician, diagnostic radiologist and medical writer. He completed fellowships in Care of the Elderly and Academic Medicine


About Health Plexus:
Comprised of 1000s of clinical reviews, CMEs, bio-medical illustrations and animations and other resources, all organized in the 34 condition zones, our vision is to provide physicians and allied healthcare professionals with access to credible, timely and multi-disciplinary continuing medical education from anywhere and on any media consumption device. The Back Health Educational Resource is the compilation of high quality clinical reviews, online CME programs, library of original visual aids, interviews, roundtable discussions and related conference reports.


About The Canadian Spine Society:

The CSS is a collaborative body of Canadian neurosurgical and orthopaedic spine surgeons and other spine care professionals with a primary interest in advancing excellence in spine patient care, research and education.

Contact Person:
Mark Varnovitski
mark@healthplexus.net
www.healthplexus.net

Section: 

The Evaluation and Treatment of Low Back Pain in Older Adults

The Evaluation and Treatment of Low Back Pain in Older Adults

Teaser: 


Arto Herno, MD, PhD, Senior Consultant, Department of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland.

The degeneration of the lumbar spine is strongly associated with aging, but this does not mean that pain is an unavoidable accompaniment (though the recorded incidence of low back pain suggests otherwise). Recently, more attention has been drawn to the problem of changes related to the aging of our musculoskeletal system and the associated socioeconomic implications. We now have advanced equipment to examine patients and our store of knowledge is enormous, but the application of this knowledge to a working practical plan at the individual level is problematic. Understanding the automatism of the normal function of the lumbar spine is essential for treating mechanical low back pain because the main goal is to correct this functional disorder. However, the long-term goal of treatment should be to involve patients in their back disorder management.

Key words: aging, degeneration, lumbar spine, low back pain, exercise.