3 Incredible Breakthroughs for Back Pain Relief

These recent medical discoveries should help to offer back pain relief to sufferers everywhere.

New study: Walking targets a sore core.

Jude Buffum for Reader's Digest

Walking may ease chronic low-back pain just as well as physical therapy, new research shows. During the study, patients worked up to walking on a treadmill for 40 minutes at moderate-intensity twice a week. After six weeks, they had significantly less low-back pain and stronger abdominal and back muscles than when they started, results that were comparable with a group who’d spent that time doing muscle-strengthening PT. Walking affects back and abdominal muscles in much the same way that targeted strengthening exercises do, researchers say.

Source: Michal Katz-Leurer, PhD, Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Israel

New study: Antibiotics relieve chronic disk pain.

Jude Buffum for Reader's Digest

Bacterial infections might cause low-back pain in nearly half of patients with slipped disks. A European study found that in 46 percent of people with herniated disks, bacteria had invaded the disk tissue as it healed, causing painful swelling of vertebrae bones. When scientists tested antibiotics as a treatment, they found that patients significantly improved on every measure of pain and disability after about three months, compared with those who took a placebo. One year later, the patients had improved more.

Source: Hanne B. Albert, PhD, associate professor, The Back Research Center, University of Southern Denmark

New gadget: Perfect your posture.

Jude Buffum for Reader's Digest

The LUMOback may prevent or reduce back pain by teaching you the proper way to sit and stand. It uses a sensor attached to a belt that fits around your lower back. After you calibrate the device to your body geometry, it determines how your spine and pelvis should align while you sit and stand. If you slouch, gentle vibrations remind you to straighten up. It also connects wirelessly to an iPhone or iPad app, which tracks how much time you spend sitting, standing, walking, and lying down. LUMOback costs about $150 and is available now.

Source: LUMO BodyTech, Palo Alto, California, lumoback.com

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