Archive for the ‘low back pain’ tag
Every season brings unique activities that require us to perform some physical activity we may not want to do but have no choice. As I look outside right now it is snowing here on the eastside and that usually means a bit of shoveling that will need to be done. This seasonal activity is a, “I have to..” activity of daily living (ADLs), rather than ADLs we want to do. Therefore, let’s talk about shoveling snow since that time of year is upon some of us, though hopefully on its way out! Of course, if snow is not an issue based on where you live, this information can also be applied to gardening, digging a hole or some other yard related shoveling activity.
First, a few facts that help us appreciate why back pain is so common when we shovel:
1. When we bend over, approximately 2/3rds of our body weight is being lifted in addition to what we’re lifting. Hence, a 180# person has to lift 120# of body weight every time he or she bends over.
2. A 5# weight equals 50# to our back when it is held out in front of us – consider the 10-20# weight on the end of a shovel!
3) Our legs are much stronger than our back and arms. If a person can bench press 300#, they can usually leg press 500# – almost 2x more weight. Yet, most of us use our arms, not our legs, when shoveling.
4) Most of us bend over using poor technique, lift the shovel with the arms and back (not the legs), and rapidly extend and twist the back when we throw the substance from the shovel – 3 bad things!
5. To make it all worse we do the same things over and over and over again, with bodies that are not in proper shape to be doing the activity in the first place. So, what do you do about it?
One way to prevent injuries, especially to the low back is to avoid the activities that injure it in the first place. For those of us who can’t hire the neighborhood kid to shovel the driveway here are some basic tips. The first fact is, we can’t change the fact that 2/3rds of our body weight is above our waist. What we can change right now is just how much you load up that shovel with snow or dirt. Secondly, always bend down using your strong leg muscles, not your back. This reduces the strain that is put on the back while lifting. Take multiple breaks and switch sides so you don’t “beat up” the same muscle groups repeatedly.
If you do hurt your back – using an analogy of a cut on your skin -avoid picking at the cut so it can heal. If your back starts to hurt after shoveling, take a break, rest, ice, and then do some gentle stretches- DO NOT go back out and start shoveling again! Some wise considerations for shoveling include warming up before starting, staying “in shape” by regular exercise throughout the year, maintaining a good nutritional diet and getting enough sleep.
In America, chronic low back pain is an epidemic level problem, with 90% of the US experiencing it at some point. The good news is that 90% of the pain goes away within 6 to 12 weeks, which leaves about 10-15% of these left dealing with chronic pain.
How often is chronic low back pain coming from facet arthritis or injury? Somewhere between 30 and 40%, according to the literature.
When diagnosing where the back pain is emanating, a definitive answer may be difficult. Physical exam along with patient history, and imaging (xrays, CT scan, MRI’s), may assist, but the exact pain generator may be elusive. And when it is deemed to be correct, it is frequently wrong or only partially right.
Diagnostic injections are typically performed of the facet joint or its nerve supply to diagnose facet joint pain. If the joint is causing pain, then hitting it with numbing medicine should eliminate the pain for a time. If it is not, the pain described by the patient shouldn’t change. How accurate are these injections?
In the past, it was routinely acceptable for patients to get 50% pain relief from the diagnostic blocks to show the facets as the pain generator. A number of studies have shown more reliability if the patient obtains over 80% pain relief. In fact, some insurance companies currently require this eighty percent pain relief before approving a radiofrequency ablation.
A recent 2009 study in Pain Physician Journal showed that using the 80% criteria, at 2 years time 90% of patients continued to have the diagnosis of facet joint related pain. When the 50% criteria was used, the same study showed that only half of hte patients maintained facet pain as a diagnosis.
How well do the blocks work? Numerous studies have evaluated the injection effectiveness both into and around the facet joints. Unfortunately, most studies were very small or not randomized. This doesn’t negate the results completely, just means that the evidence level is less that that of a larger study.
Results for facet joint nerve injections (termed medial branch blocks) have been very good, averaging eighty percent pain relief helping patients between 5 and 7 months. Research has also shown satisfactory results for when the pain comes back, repeating the injections or the patient may undergo a radiofrequency neurotomy. Patients have seen significant improvement in returning to work, function, general health status, and psychological status.
When compared with lumbar surgery, facet joint injections are very cost effective and represent a low risk effective options for pain relief that works.
Of the leading causes of medical disability, back pain is at the head of the list. While most of us have experienced it intermittently in our lives, there are individuals whose pain becomes a debilitating and agonizing chronic condition. For many years the only real solution usually involved long-term use of pain killers, or surgery to eliminate the result of pinched nerves, bulging or herniated spinal discs, arm pain, sciatica, or degenerative spinal disc disease. Fortunately, medical advancements on spinal decompression and back pain have helped develop an entirely new arena of non-invasive treatment.
Spinal decompression is an overall term for a specific treatment providing relief of pressure on nerves that may be pinched by the spinal column. It is a type of non-surgical, non-chiropractic therapy that is approved by the American Food and Drug Association. This therapy often utilizes a traction device connected to a computer for accuracy, and allows greater control of the force, angle and length of disc distraction. It is usually received while lying on a table, and is non-surgical and non-invasive.
Those who receive this method of treatment are comfortably strapped to a table which is capable of movement. That motion is controlled by computers running special software designed to help decompress the spine and the troublesome disc by creating a small space between the vertebra. By creating this small vacuum, the spine is elongated, reducing the pressure on the nerves. Patients undergoing this procedure usually require multiple treatments.
Software-controlled treatment using this process made its debut in the late 1980s. No single treatment method can solve all problems, but this procedure has a moderate to high rate of success. One of its biggest advantages is the lack of invasive back surgery, and for many people the need for a daily regimen of pain pills can be decreased or eliminated. The methods and physical apparatus used during spinal decompression are relatively new, and are still changing rapidly as improvements come along.
In the beginning, decompression tables were designed for a system of traction pulleys controlled by computer software. While more efficient in targeting trouble areas than pre-existing traction devices, they were still somewhat limited in scope. While this procedure is painless in itself, there were some patients who experienced difficulty in using them because of a restricted range of movement, or because their spines had become too disfigured. Also, treatment was limited to the spine, and neck problems were not included at first.
As computer technology improved, so have the machines. Advanced software allowed some essential treatment options that were previously unavailable. These new programs are designed to reach an affected vertebra with pinpoint accuracy, and now include treatment of neck problems. Isolating the segments of the spine enables the therapist to decrease and increase the speed and extent of joint distraction or movement, cutting treatment times for patients with difficulty maintaining an aligned posture.
For most patients there is no additional back pain involved during treatment. And, there are new additions to the treatment table involving what are called gravitational protocols. These protocols use the natural weight of the lower body in helping to stretch a compressed spine into a normal structure. The latest decompression units now incorporate them, adding to the overall scope of treatment.
Medical advancements on spinal decompression and back pain today include biotechnological improvements in the areas of multi-directional treatment via advanced software, and the development of gravitational methods of therapy. While no medical treatment can be 100% guaranteed to reduce back pain for every patient, studies show a remarkably good result for those who experience spinal decompression. For many people, this kind of treatment has provided greater pain reduction than medication or invasive back surgery.
Chiropractic and pregnancy is interesting. The Chiropractor field is the medical field that specializes in fixing or adjusting and monitoring chronic back and spinal issues. Pregnancy is when a woman is about to reproduce and is the nine months where the child is growing within her womb.
Almost all women who are reproducing experience side affects of that said reproduction time period. Although there is a common list of what they should feel typically not all women experience those generic pains, and almost all women experience their own unique side affects. Whether those are in the form of cravings, nausea or back pains.
One that hasn’t been typically common is back pain amongst pregnant women. Many doctors are starting to wonder why and are beginning to look into this are theorizing that because of the added weight and water of the womb and child affects the back and spine position which causes the discomfort. This discomfort when experience 24 hours is cause enough to send a pregnant woman to a chiropractor’s office.
If this theory is true then it can be dangerous to the life of the mother and child. Assuming the worst, the pressure becomes too much for the spine and result in bending the spine to such a degree that surgery is needed or altogether fracturing or snapping this spine. This will cause a permanent loss of body function in the mother which could result in the lack of nutrients for the unborn child.
For women who already have a history of back problems, they simply continue to go to their chiropractor’s office. However, they should consult their doctors as they get further in their term. And for some women they say it also helps them mentally.
Many women feel that going to a chiropractor helps to relieve the stress they’ve been carrying. As they believe they carry their stress not only in their shoulders, where it is commonly accepted that people carry stress, but also in their backs. Thus for them going to the chiropractor is both soothing and a healthy viable option.
Although some women believe that going is good for their health and for the health of their child it has not yet been scientifically proven. Until it has been scientifically proven, meaning there has been a significant number of trials and there is significant data showing the change and improving quality of pregnant woman who go to a chiropractor than those who do not, this will not be recommended by any physician. So for all the women who aren’t sure about what to, see your physician first and ask them what is best.
Chiropractic and pregnancy don’t seem like they should be together. But there has been a rise lately in the amount of women who go during their term. Whether it has any health benefits in women who go versus women who don’t no one can say at this point. However, some women claim it relives their stress, and calms them mentally as well. So there is some benefit from going even if its not the physical benefit. Remember to consult an obstetrician before going to a chiropractor for the first time during pregnancy, since it could also do more damage than heal. Especially during the last months of the term where the child is large enough to be easily damaged with every small difference that occurs within a woman’s body.
Merely in the US alone, perhaps somewhere in excess of forty billion dollars is dedicated to issues related to low back pain. So many persons have had perhaps some form of distressing experience with low back pain, even if it was a one time occasion. The expense to overall business is astronomical mainly because low back incidents are the main reason for absence and disability payments. When it comes to difficulties that are neurologically similar in the US, only headaches beat back pain. It is popular knowledge that low back pain can be something very temporary or cause more serious and chronic problems.
The standard situation with low back pain includes a number of factors each of which make their unique contribution. Some of these aspects are muscle stresses or injuries, problems due to excessive use, injured or strained ligaments or spinal disc problems. One potential condition suggested by some medical experts is a chronic imbalance in the lower back. Then ultimately that imbalanced state leads to more serious problems for instance a greater chance of back injury. What usually happens is the person performs some kind of minor task, and then experiences a sudden stab of pain.
Back pain can reveal itself in various ways, and it really has to do with the particular situation. The worst kind could be quick, sharp pain which is known as acute pain. Pain that is more chronic could be sharp or low in severeness, but it is difficult due to the fact it is chronic and always present. Intense lower back pain very generally and usually is a result of an injury and is mechanical. These can be really serious as this suggests a condition in which there is certainly actual damage, typically. Anyone who has experienced this knows all too well how debilitating it can be. Occasionally the condition will stop the person from moving about normally for example bending over or standing up straight. Perhaps all of us have witnessed someone who has to tilt forward just somewhat because that is more comfortable for their back.
Herniated discs in the spine are common and typically caused by repeated motions or those kinds that include chronic mechanical vibration. Still, if a person places a very heavy demand on the back muscles, then that can also result in this condition. You can help your back be more robust and less injury prone by routine stretch techniques. Added acute pain can be triggered when that disc suddenly places pressure on nerves.
You should in no way fool around with any kind of back ache considering you can magnify the condition. Unexpected pain that is acute in nature is serious and should be evaluated by a doctor promptly. In the mean time, take it easy and you should never make things worse for yourself. Apply proper lifting posture even when doing simple chores around the house, as well.
Just in the US alone, perhaps somewhere well over forty billion dollars is dedicated to issues related to low back pain. So many persons have had perhaps some sort of distressing experience with low back pain, even though it was a one time occurrence. Numerous industries are hit hard on an annual basis with disability and time lost as a result of this problem. In the US, only the well-known headache ranks greater for problems associated with the nervous system. It is common knowledge that lower back pain can be something extremely short-lived or lead to more serious and chronic problems.
The usual predicament with low back pain involves a number of factors each of which make their particular contribution. Low back painfulness can be brought on by disc ruptures, situations involving using back muscles too much plus a number of other problems. One potential condition mentioned by some medical professionals is a chronic asymmetry in the lower back. The common result is that the back is unable to take it anymore, and consequently problems start to surface. What often happens is the person performs some kind of minor task, and then experiences a quick stab of pain.
There are several different types of pain we can encounter. There is the type that is acute painfulness felt instantly. Chronic pain lasts and may start at a low grade and afterward maybe remain that way for a very long time. Acute lower back pain very commonly and usually is caused by an injury and is mechanical. These can be serious as this means a condition in which there is certainly actual damage, typically. Anyone who has experienced this appreciates all too well how debilitating it can be. There are other associated problems such as a reduced ability to move through normal activities. Or possibly, you can occasionally see people bending somewhat forward to help decrease the pain.
Herniated discs in the spinal column are common and typically caused by repeated motions or those kinds that include chronic mechanical vibration. Another cause for this problem could be a quick load placed upon the back or a severe strain on the back that is rarely done. Many things help with back health such as being too tight, generally speaking, due to lack of good exercise and stretching. A herniated disc will be very debilitating because it can quite often pinch a nerve alongside the spinal column.
You should by no means fool around with any kind of back pain because you can aggravate the condition. If you are engaged in an action that leads to sharp pain, then the wise thing to do is see a knowledgeable doctor. In that kind of situation, you can quickly make matters more distressing and cause extra injury if you continue to work like there is no problem. Apply proper lifting posture even when doing easy duties around the house, as well.
Merely in the US alone, possibly somewhere in excess of forty billion dollars is devoted to matters related to low back pain. In fact, it is feasible that nearly every person has experienced some kind of mild variety of low back pain. Accidents and pain to the lower back, or medically referred to as the lumbosacral region, is one of the major causes of job related disability benefits and missed work. In the US, only the common headache ranks higher for problems linked to the nervous system. The curious factor of low back pain is that it could be totally debilitating or very mild and passes rapidly.
The results can be the same, low back ache, but all the various reasons related to it are very wide ranging. Some of these variables are muscle strains or injuries, problems due to excessive use, injured or strained ligaments or spinal disc complications. It is also quite feasible to have a situation that produces a structural imbalance that lasts a very long time. The scenario is obvious, all that prolonged strain takes its toll and low back pain is the final result. What typically happens is the person carries out some kind of minor task, and then experiences a sharp stab of pain.
Back pain can reveal itself in different ways, and it really has to do with the particular situation. The toughest kind could be quick, sharp pain which is often known as acute pain. Reoccuring pain lasts and may start at a low grade and afterward maybe continue to be that way for a very long time. The acute kind of back pain has a tendency to happen all of a sudden from physical damage. In that condition there is a mechanical abnormality or genuine damage that causes the acute pain. The pain connected to this has a high degree of severeness and often demands pain medication. Occasionally the condition will prevent the person from moving normally including bending over or standing straight. Maybe all of us have observed someone who has to tilt frontward just slightly because that is more relaxing for their back.
Herniated discs in the back are common and normally caused by recurring motions or those kinds that include chronic mechanical vibration. However, it is even possible for an extreme load on the back to create this, too. Very often people are not ready for these types of shocks to the system, and also many individuals are not in the habit of stretching out their back and leg muscles. Further acute suffering can be induced when that disc suddenly places pressure on nerves.
If you encounter back pain that is lingering it is well-advised to see your doctor over it. Unexpected pain that is acute in nature is serious and should be evaluated by a doctor immediately. In that kind of scenario, you can easily make matters more unpleasant and cause extra harm if you continue to work like there is no problem. At all times remember to lift using your legs and not your back, and at all times hold your back straight whenever you lift.
If you are experiencing any kind of pain in your lower back you may try to ignore it. For some people just resting the injury for one or two weeks is all that is required for recovery. But this is unlikely. Most cases of this type are serious and can lead on to more problems if left uncared for. A San Antonio chiropractor can provide you with the care you need.
The reason this type of injury is so serious is the lower back is involved in everything you do. From bending and lifting to walking and turning. Even just sitting in a chair requires some effort from this part of your body. If the back is not functioning properly then neither is the rest of your body. It is vital to keep it healthy.
An injury of this type can come from anywhere. One of the most affected groups is office workers. Sitting at a desk without the correct posture can quickly lead to stress. Sports players are also prone to this, particularly participants of contact sports such as football or hockey.
Weight lifters are probably the most prone to this which is why they have specially designed belts to help ease the pressure. Most people will suffer from this at some time in their life, particularly in old age just from a life times wear. Chiropractic techniques can help no matter what the cause is.
As the back consists of many different parts, each case has to be dealt with differently. Taking x-rays of the area will be the first thing you can expect. This is to locate the exact problem and therefore give you the best chance of long term relief. Another test you may be required to take is a range of motion test. This determines the severity of your problem.
Once your problem has been pinpointed the next step is to talk with you about the possible methods that will work. One of the most effective methods is manipulation of the spine. This resolves the majority of cases as it is usually the spine that is at fault. With gentle manipulation a San Antonio chiropractor realign it. This improves your range of motion and relives the pain.
A San Antonio chiropractor has the expertise to provide therapy for low back pain. You can learn more about tips and techniques for wellness by visiting the website at http://www.franklinchiropractic.com .
Throughout the entire human body, there are an incredible number of bones, muscles, and tissues that all work together and can become painful at any point in time. The area of the back is often where much of the strain and activity that is performed during daily life is places which does provide an incredible amount of stress for many. Thus, one should how a Midtown New York City chiropractor is able to help provide relief.
A large percentage of our body weight and lifting strain is placed on the lower portions of our back. Of course, this usually means this is one of the first areas of this part of the body that is prone to some form of damage and strain. Fortunately, when needing any level of care, the process is actually quite simple to undergo.
One of the first steps in the care process is a full and complete assessment of the area causing the pain. This will usually include questions and answers of daily activities. The physical portion is aimed at seeing what precise area is causing the most amount of pain.
From this point, a back brace is often issued to the patient. This particular product is designed to help ensure that the lower back is supported and kept still throughout the day. When in use, much of the strain is then distributed throughout the entire back.
Then, there will be several different stretch and exercise routines taught which depend upon the muscles and area of the back that are strained. These are aimed at strengthening them as well as ensuring they are stretched to their full potential. Thus, these are usually quite effective with relief.
Finally, a Midtown New York City chiropractor will then issue some type of pain relief medication. These are usually simple muscle relaxers and inflammatory relief pills. They are usually minor and able to be taken while performing daily activities.
For safe and effective low back pain relief, your Midtown New York City chiropractor has the solutions. You can schedule a consultation when you visit the website at http://www.e53chiro.com .
While many people may consider chiropractic care, they may hesitate because they don’t know how often you should be going to see a chiropractor. The answer to this is quite simple: it depends on your condition and what type of healing needs to be accomplished.
When you go to your first chiropractic visit, you should expect to fill out some paperwork, talk with the doctor about your problem, and then giving your medical history. You may get an x-ray if your condition warrants one. These pictures show the doctor what is truly going on with your spine. The doctor may also give you a physical examination and explore the area where you are having pain. He may have you do some range of motion tests as well. After a thorough examination, the doctor may or may not do any adjustments for you. He may decide to wait until he can see the results of your x-rays or MRI scans. You may also be given some home suggestions you can do before the next visit like applying ice packs or avoiding certain movements or activities.
At your follow up visit, the doctor will discuss the results of your x-rays with you and talk about a possible course of treatment. Some ailments only need one visit to help you feel better. Other conditions may require two or three visits per week for a week or two. If you have a very serious condition, you may end up needing a longer course of treatment that will taper off in frequency as your condition improves. The doctor will begin treatment with adjustments to decrease your pain and increase your movement abilities.
Manual adjustments are done by applying pressure to your spine using either the doctor’s hands or small devices. Most adjustments cause no pain or discomfort. The adjustments that are a little uncomfortable only last for a few seconds.
The doctor of chiropractic will reassess your progress every few visits. If you are showing good improvement, it is likely that you can reduce the frequency of your visits until you only go in as needed, but that should be determined by your doctor. Once you are feeling an improvement in your pain, you may do some sessions to correct the underlying problem. The chiropractic adjustments at this point are trying to increase your mobility so you don’t need to worry about re-injuring yourself. If you happen to experience a flare up or recurrence of your problem, you’ll easily be able to increase your sessions for a short time until you feel better again.
The next part of your treatment works on strengthening the surrounding soft tissue that affects the area due to your injury or pain. By strengthening this tissue, you will have better functioning of the muscles and joints of this area. Once the pain is gone or at least stabilized, you may get supportive care, or maintenance. This can be as frequent as once a week for serious issues to once every few months for minor issues. This helps the patient remain on a healthy course of action to prevent any re-ocurrence.
Since you may need frequent visits at the beginning of your care, be sure to check with your insurance company to see what might be covered. Many do cover chiropractic care, even if only a portion of what you need. You can also ask the chiropractic office to find out if you have coverage on your policy, as they do this type of thing daily.