Chronic back pain affects millions of people each year. There are many different reasons why people suffer from this ailment. Some of the more common reasons are sprained muscles or ligaments, heavy lifting or possibly an accident. Stress and depression can also bring on chronic back pain. Cancer patients have also been known to suffer from chronic back pain. Cancer pain is more of an ongoing problem caused from the cancer itself as opposed to a specific back injury.
It’s been determined that up to 33% of the population in the United States suffer from some sort of chronic pain, including chronic back pain. Cancer, as high as the rate is, doesn’t disable as many people as chronic pain does. Chronic pain even disables more people than heart disease. Over $100 billion a year is spent for medical costs, worker’s compensation and lost days from work. Many of the sufferers of chronic back pain, cancer related back pain as well, could possibly be successfully treated if they would seek medical treatment before their back pain becomes chronic. For back pain to be considered as chronic, the individual must have had the pain for at least three months. By this time, the individual should realize that there is a serious problem. Whether it’s chronic back pain, cancer, pneumonia or any other serious illness, the sooner the treatment the better the prognosis.
For severe chronic back pain, cancer patients have been given many types of oral pain treatment such as Darvocet or Percocet, both of which were unsuccessful in treating the pain long term without leaving very negative side effects. Eventually the cancer patients overall condition would deteriorate. Doctors have been using Medtronic Pain Therapy intrathecal for a long term pain treatment. The SynchroMed infusion system gets implanted in the patients. A catheter is placed in the upper lumbar intrathecal area with the catheter tip going in three segments of the vertebrae and then going under the skin and connected to the SynchroMed pump.
The pump is filled with medication such as morphine for the chronic back pain. Cancer patients that received this type of treatment did not suffer from many side affects and their overall condition improved long term. The pump is regulated to dispense the pain medications in certain dosages depending on when the patient needed it more. Most patients would receive more during the daytime when they seemed to experience the most severe pain. This was considered very effective in treating the pain.