Patients with Back Pain Often Get the Wrong Treatment
Back pain is a common physical problem faced by many individuals on a daily basis, and is a driving force behind these individuals visiting their doctors. Back pain can be both acute and chronic, and given proper medical attention, can be cured or reduced to a great extent.
What causes back pain?
Back pain may be attributed to muscle strain, slipped disc, pinched nerve, compression fracture and infections or tumors in the spine. Strenuous physical activity, lifting of heavy items, repeated bending, turning, or prolonged postures all result in back pain.
Back Pain Statistics for the US
- Number of People Suffering from Back Pain: In the United States, more than 70 percent of the population suffer from backaches.
- Ages: A majority of them are in the age group of 35 to 55 years.
- Physician Visits for Back Pain: Senior author Bruce Landon (professor of health care policy and medicine at Harvard Medical School), says that more than 10 percent of primary care physician visits are for back pain, which amounts to about $86 billion spent annually on healthcare.
- Recovery: It is found that 90 percent of all patients suffering from acute back pain, recover within 6 weeks of proper medication.
Treatment For Back Pain
- Consult a Doctor: It is ideal that one sees a medical practitioner if back pain persists for more than 7 days of taking initial first aid like heat and ice, body rest, anti-inflammatory drugs, and exercise.
- Determine Root Cause: However, it is important that the root cause of the pain be diagnosed, and apt treatment given thereof.
A doctor may recommend the following approaches for curing back pain:
- Physiotherapy – includes exercise, massage, heat and ice.
- Prescription of medicines – includes anti-inflammatory pills, muscle sedatives or narcotics.
- Diagnostics – includes x-rays, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) or Computed Axial Tomography (CAT or CT scan).
Is proper medical care given to back pain patients? – A shocking revelation
A recent study in the area of back pain was conducted by John Mafi (chief medical resident at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston), and his team, using the data of 24,000 doctor visits over a span of 10 years (1999-2010). The study reveals the shocking fact that many back pain patients are getting over aggressive treatments for their condition. Major findings published in JAMA Internal Medicine (a Journal of the American Medical Association Network publication), are
- Increase in the use of narcotic drugs from 19% to 29%
- Increase in referring to other physicians from 7% to 14%
- Increase in usage of MRI and CT scans from 7% to 11%
What this Mean in Terms of Cost: “With health care costs soaring, improvements in the management of back pain represent an area of potential cost savings for the health care system while also improving the quality of care,” says the study.
Consequences: There are many risk factors that can be associated with aggressive medication given to patients with back pain. The inappropriate use of narcotics, anticonvulsants and antidepressants to treat back pain may cause health problems like blurred vision, weight gain, sexual problems, skin rashes, and severe ones like heart and lung disorders, liver or kidney damage.
Financial Loss and Emotional Suffering: Medication errors also can lead to huge losses that the victim has to bear in terms of medical expenses including scanning and consultations, loss of wages, and emotional suffering.
Getting Justice and Compensation
- Free Consultation – If you or your loved ones have suffered back pain, and are a victim of medication errors, do contact us at 888-710-9377 for a free consultation of your case.
- File a Lawsuit – Wagner Reese will assist you in pursuing a medical malpractice or hospital negligence lawsuit, which can be brought against the respective medical practitioner or hospital.
- Claim Compensation – Our Indiana Medical Malpractice Lawyers will help you recover maximum money for losses incurred.
- Pay Lawyer Fees After Compensation – We do not charge any amount upfront. Our fees may be paid only after you receive your claim.