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Impacts on Life

Impacts on Life

Impacts on Life
Transcript

So how does low back pain impact people's lives? And it's really diagnosis specific. And so earlier we talked about the four groups. So that's the way we talk about impact on life and would it be mean to people both activity wise and financially. For your patient who comes in and it has an episode of low back pain that is muscular tenderness. In other words, low back pain, no leg pain usually self limited, they're going to miss some days of work. A very rare patient will miss weeks of work that'll have a small financial impact, but it can have a long-term financial impact if they have what I would call a twitchy back back that wants to go out. Sure you can become more active. You could wear the brace, ice, anti-inflammatory to cut those episodes down or make them go away sooner. But there may be some people who find that they just can't do a particular job because of their back. And sometimes we counsel patients to look for a different less back intensive job. I mean, I may stand in the operating room for 10 or 12 hours picking in a tumor and not have any back pain, but when I go out with the shovel and the pick and I'm putting in the drip system to the mesquite trees, I may have back pain that bothers me for three or four days. So far it hasn't bothered work, but other people may be bad enough that it does bother work so it can have an effect, but the vast majority of patients will get over it, move on in their lives and it's okay. The same is true of the next subgroup, which is back pain with the acute leg pain. Ooh, gee. You get them over that and probably about 95% of those patients are going to do well. Long term, don't need a whole lot of modifications. There really isn't any really good data to suggest even that people need to have modifications. In other words, do you need a 25 pound lifting restriction when you go back and work at UPS or otherwise or something like that?

Doctor Profile

Kurt Schroeder, MD

Neurosurgeon

  • Certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery
  • Chief of Neurosurgery at St. Joseph’s Hospital
  • Former Chief of Surgery at Tucson Medical Center

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