The ‘sour’ shot that can take away back pain for good

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A once-in-a-lifetime shot can treat back pain. In a new trial, injections of lactic acid – a syrup-like substance formed in sour milk and found naturally in our bodies – are administered to 120 patients with low back pain caused by disc problems.

The researchers say the jab will make the discs, which sit between the bones (vertebrae) of the spine, tougher and more resilient – and could eliminate the need for surgery for many.

About eight in ten people have back pain at some point, and up to one in four is caused by disc problems.

The researchers say the shot causes the discs, which sit between the bones (vertebrae) of the spine, to become tougher and more resilient - and may eliminate the need for surgery for many.

The researchers say the jab makes the discs, which sit between the bones (vertebrae) of the spine, tougher and more resilient – and could eliminate the need for surgery for many.

Discs act as shock absorbers, but also provide flexibility for the movement of the spine and prevent the vertebrae from rubbing against each other. They are made of an outer ring of tough connective tissue and a gel-like center.

As the discs degenerate with age, tears in the outer shell can occur, causing instability between the bones and causing tension and pain in the surrounding joints and muscles.

As the disc degenerates further, the gel-like center can bulge, compressing nerves and causing inflammation and pain.

Treatment options range from pain relievers and physical therapy to steroid injections and surgeries to remove the damaged disc or fuse the spine.

Lactic acid is a natural byproduct of energy production in the body – it accumulates in the muscles after exercise and is believed to hurt.

Its use in relieving back pain is based on the idea that it stimulates collagen development, making the intervertebral disc tougher and more resilient. Orthopedic surgeons have long reported that patients who have back pain related to disc problems often experience less pain with age, because with age the collagen in the intervertebral discs becomes tougher and thus the intervertebral discs can provide more support to the spine.

Lactic acid is a natural byproduct of energy production in the body - it accumulates in the muscles after exercise and is believed to hurt

Lactic acid is a natural byproduct of energy production in the body – it accumulates in the muscles after exercise and is believed to hurt.

But these changes take decades, and the theory is that the lactic acid injection has the same effect, but in weeks.

Animal studies have shown that just one month after the injection, the center of the discs was replaced with dense connective tissue as the collagen solidifies.

A small trial of 15 patients at the Stockholm Spine Center in Sweden found no serious safety concerns and MRI scans suggested that the discs became firmer after the shot.

In the new trial in hospitals in the Netherlands, Spain and Russia, patients receive the injection or a placebo. The researchers say they expect the benefits to be noticeable within four to 12 weeks and hopefully last the patient’s entire life.

Ian Harding, an orthopedic consultant at North Bristol NHS Trust, says of the study: “Back pain is caused by many different diagnoses, a minority of which are caused by the intervertebral disc itself. Any treatment that can help and avoid more invasive, high-risk treatments deserves research.

“Studies like this one can lead to big trials and a better understanding of the problem.”

Jabs with concentrated blood may be an effective treatment for back pain, according to a review of research in the Journal of Pain Research.

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is made from blood that is spun in a centrifuge to separate platelets, a part of the blood that contains growth-stimulating substances.

Doctors at Yeungnam University, South Korea, reviewed the results of three studies in which the injections were used for back pain caused by problems with the discs that sit between the bones of the spine.

They concluded: “PRP injections had major pain-reducing and function-enhancing effects in patients with disc-related low back pain.”

The high levels of growth factors in PRP are thought to stimulate the process of tissue repair and healing.

Dry skin condition linked to common bacteria

A recent discovery related to the itchy skin condition atopic dermatitis offers the prospect of new treatments.

Experiments at Trinity College in Dublin have shown that the condition is spread when a bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus) binds to a protein in the skin called human corneodesmosine. This prompts the bacteria to spread, creating the itchy, red rash in a process that apparently takes place on dead skin cells.

Currently, atopic dermatitis is being treated with creams, but it is hoped that understanding how the bacteria spreads will help develop new treatments.

Researchers are investigating a drug commonly used to treat diarrhea as a possible cancer treatment. A study from Goethe University in Germany shows that loperamide, which works by slowing the movement of food through the intestines, can also trigger a stress response in brain cancer cells, causing them to die, Autophagy magazine reports.

Can fibroid surgery help women conceive?

Can removing fibroids increase a woman’s chances of having a baby?

That’s the rationale behind new research to investigate whether smaller fibroids (formed from fibrous connective tissue, which affect up to 40 percent of women) and endometrial polyps (which form from the uterine lining and affect up to 20 percent of women) be connected. to infertility.

In a Sheffield University study of 1,120 women undergoing treatments for infertility and recurrent miscarriages, doctors will assess whether a hysteroscopy, a procedure used to remove these growths, can help these women conceive a baby.

Legs to think about

The health problems we can pass on to our pets. This week: stress

Pet owners with higher stress levels have been found to have dogs with higher levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, according to a study of 58 dogs published in the journal Scientific Reports.

“ Being a pack animal means that dogs must be very good at reading body language and the emotional state of other pack members, and through domestication, dogs have also become experts at picking up human emotions, ” explains Dr. Jan Hoole, a specialist. in pets. behavior at Keele University.

So how do you protect your dog? “Routine can be very important for dogs, so try to stick to their normal exercise and eating schedule,” says Dr. Hoole. “Calm behavior on your part can also help.”

Although the 2019 study didn’t look at cats, they are also very sensitive to the atmosphere, she adds, but unlike dogs, they normally go away until the stress is over.

Do this…

If you need to remember something, read it before going to bed. Researchers at Loughborough University suggest that if you do, the temporarily stored memories are reactivated during sleep, helping to consolidate them and improve the ease of recall.

To test this, they ask volunteers to study the multiplication tables at bedtime and review their knowledge in the morning and compare it with their results the night before.

If you need to remember something, read it before going to bed.  Loughborough University researchers suggest that doing so will reactivate the temporarily stored memories during sleep

If you need to remember something, read it before going to bed. Loughborough University researchers suggest that doing so will reactivate the temporarily stored memories during sleep

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