Back pain 'should mean a visit to the doctor'

5 October 2011

People who need orthopaedic surgery may not even know it and should see a doctor immediately when feeling back pain, according to one charity.

Neil Betteridge, chief executive of Arthritis Care, said it is important that sufferers discuss the various management options available and take action to stop pain and possible long-term side effects.

Mr Betteridge said: "We know that there aren't effective treatments for osteoarthritis specifically, apart from painkillers, [but] there are things which can be done to help manage the condition and prevent it deteriorating too quickly."

Exercise was found to be beneficial by researchers at Duke University Medical Center. A study published in Arthritis & Rheumatism showed advantages in improving arthritis symptoms among obese mice, suggesting that excess weight alone is not what causes the aches and pains of osteoarthritis.

According to Mr Betteridge, there is a public awareness issue surrounding back pain and people are often reluctant to get it checked.

By Jeanette Royston

Guilak, Farshid, et al., "Reduced Function of Protein Hormone, Leptin, Protects against Development of OA with Obesity", Arthritis & Rheumatism, October 2009.

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