Exercise is better than medication for chronic low back pain :-) A new systematic review from the Alberta College of Family Physicians has been published, and this is encouraging news. Exercise should be part of any chronic low back pain management, and we advise this routinely. They found strength and stability training to be effective, but they also found aerobic exercises help. Likely a mix of strength, core and aerobics will give the best results. As always, start slowly, and gradually work at increasing exercises and you should have less pain.
Striving to obtain the best medical evidence for a treatment is a good goal to have. We are pleased to report one more study (well, really it is a review of several good studies, and in this case it is the highest level of medical research, even more exacting than randomized and blinded trials) showing that prolotherapy is an effective treatment for knee osteoarthritis. This is good news to those suffering this type of knee pain. Not everyone is helped, as some arthritis is too far-advanced, but many people have a great response to prolotherapy as a treatment for arthritis.
This is an important topic of interest to all physicians: that we should strive towards evidence-based medicine whenever possible. For this reason we have reorganized our website with a page dedicated solely to worthy studies, rather than include them in the links page. We encourage you to visit periodically as we add new studies when they become available.
The CAOM holds annual conferences in Regenerative Medicine and this year we met in Vancouver. It is always stimulating to listen to excellent speakers in the field, meet old colleagues and new, and exchange information that makes all of us better practitioners. This year we heard an excellent talk on nutrition and its importance by Dr Aileen Burford-Mason - this will have its own blog entry. In addition we had workshops on prolotherapy, platelet-rich plasma and ultrasound-guided techniques. Erik Ouellette, well-respected prolotherapist from Ontario gave a great lecture on injecting the shoulder, and followed up by doing just that. Physicians presented new research studies, some so new they haven't been published quite yet, and our North Vancouver colleague Dr Helene Bertrand discussed her positive shoulder prolotherapy study which has been accepted for publication. Kelowna physician Dr Francois Louw piqued our interest with favourable early trends in his TMJ (jaw) pain study. We came away tired but grateful to belong to such a good organization.
Jannice is a family physician with an interest in the treatment of pain. Anything to help the process is added to this blog.