November 06, 2014

Back Pain & Humira

Articles by Dr. Erdman are for informational purposes, and are not to be taken as specific medical advice.

Back pain is such a common ailment in most people. It is estimated that over 80% of the population will acquire back pain at some point in their lives. Of those, over 90% will have multiple recurrences.
If lots of people have any particular problem, drug companies make pills to be pushed on them. Back pain is no different.

One of the latest ads about back pain I’ve been seeing of TV is for the drug Humira. The ad shows a diverse group of people all saying they have finally found the cause of their chronic back pain. It is called Ankylosing Spondylitis. It is a real disease, but it is extremely rare. How rare you ask? In my twenty plus years of practice, I have seen less than 5 patients with this condition.

The drug is extremely expensive, costing upwards of $20,000 a year. The direct to patient marketing must work to deliver a bunch of new drug users, or the drug companies wouldn’t do it. The ads act like there are many people who have this as a primary back pain problem, when in reality it is very rare. At $20,000 a year, I suppose they only need to add a few users per commercial to pay for the ads. Don’t be a sucker; find a qualified back pain practitioner to find your problem.

Most back pain is mechanical and postural in nature. Poor posture, improper movements and disc tears are the majority of my practice.

Humira is a drug with serious side effects. Humira promotes tuberculosis and life threatening infections; it increases the risk of Lymphoma and other cancers. Then there are the allergic reactions, nervous system problems, heart and liver problems and so many more issues.

It is estimated that less than one tenth of one tenth of one percent of all complaints of back pain are due to this rare condition. Yet drug companies act irresponsibly by marketing directly to consumers who have no idea it is such a rare condition. They march to their doctors and ask for the drug without any knowledge of what it portends to treat. Are we imbeciles or what? Drug companies count on it. Don’t be a lemming.

Since posture and improper mechanical movements are the major causes of back pain, should they be addressed before a $20,000 drug?  Chiropractors are the most extensively trained and professionally experienced doctors to turn to for these types of problems.

Poor posture is linked with depression, weight gain, heartburn, migraines, anxiety and breathing problems. Dysfunction of segmental units along the spine can affect virtually any area of the body.
Good posture means your ears are centered over your shoulders, and your shoulders align with your hips, and your hips are over your ankles in a straight line.

Pain drugs are not the answer to back pain. Back pain is the primary reason American adults get addicted to pain killers. All the while, these drugs have no good effect on the actual back problem. Some 700,000 people visit emergency rooms each year as a result of drug reactions to all drugs. Properly prescribed and properly administered drugs kill 106,000 Americans every year, making them the 4th leading cause of death in the US. These same folks who prescribe the wothless  drugs for back pain are the same ones telling you chiropractors are worthless. Don’t believe them.

Find out the cause of your back pain by consulting the proper professionals, chiropractors. Then, follow their directions in exercises, weight loss, nutrition and posture correction to change your outcomes for the better. If your chiropractor doesn’t do these things, find someone who does.