When a herniated disc is compressing the nerve roots, hemi- or partial- laminectomy or discectomy may be performed, in which the material compressing on the nerve is removed. A mutli-level laminectomy can be done to widen the spinal canal in the case of spinal stenosis. A foraminotomy or foraminectomy may also be necessary, if the vertebrae are causing significant nerve root compression. A discectomy is performed when the intervertebral disc has herniated or torn. It involves removing the protruding disc, either a portion of it or all of it, that is placing pressure on the nerve root. Total disc replacement can also be performed, in which the source of the pain (the damaged disc) is removed and replaced, while maintaining spinal mobility. When an entire disc is removed (as in discectomy), or when the vertebrae are unstable, spinal fusion surgery may be performed. Spinal fusion is a procedure in which bone grafts and metal hardware is used to fix together two or more vertebrae, thus preventing the bones of the spinal column from compressing on the spinal cord or nerve roots.
If you suffer from poor posture with an accentuated curve and chronic back pain, a lumbar cushion is definitely recommended, especially if your routine involves extensive periods of sitting. Moreover, even if you don’t have significant back problems but have a sedentary lifestyle, these cushions can help you in the long term by promoting good posture and negating any detrimental effects you might see in the future. Prolonged sitting causes the onset of “creep”, a build-up of stress due to constantly contracted muscles and ligaments due to sitting. By providing support to the muscles and helping maintain proper posture, a lumbar cushion lowers the stress build-up.
Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by low bone mass and density. Osteoporosis causes symptoms of weak, thin, fragile bones. Learn the treatments and medications used to fight osteoporosis, as well as prevention tips.
The management goals when treating back pain are to achieve maximal reduction in pain intensity as rapidly as possible, to restore the individual’s ability to function in everyday activities, to help the patient cope with residual pain, to assess for side-effects of therapy, and to facilitate the patient’s passage through the legal and socioeconomic impediments to recovery. For many, the goal is to keep the pain to a manageable level to progress with rehabilitation, which then can lead to long-term pain relief. Also, for some people the goal is to use non-surgical therapies to manage the pain and avoid major surgery, while for others surgery may be the quickest way to feel better.
The mesh cover breathes and is machine washable on gentle. The elastic strap is handy to hold your seat in place in specific chairs and cars. The cushion is lightweight and can easily be taken with you to places you need support and spinal alignment. It comes with a nice carrying case. The colors to select from are black, blue, and gray.
Most episodes of back pain last a few days and have completely resolved within a few weeks. If you have new back pain, you should contact your doctor to see if you need further evaluation. There are also a few warning signs that may indicate a problem that needs immediate evaluation:
Transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation (TENS): TENS provides pulses of electrical stimulation through surface electrodes. For acute back pain, there is no proven benefit. Two small studies produced inconclusive results, with a trend toward improvement with TENS. In chronic back pain, there is conflicting evidence regarding its ability to help relieve pain. One study showed a slight advantage at one week for TENS but no difference at three months and beyond. Other studies showed no benefit for TENS at any time. There is no known benefit for sciatica.
Nick Tumminello is the 2016 NSCA Personal Trainer of the Year and the owner of University, which provides practical fitness education for fitness professionals worldwide. He is the author of Strength Training for Fat Loss and Building Muscle and Performance (both books published by Human Kinetics) and has produced 15+ DVDs. He writes a very popular blog at www.NickTumminello.com.
A CT scan is an X-ray procedure that combines many X-ray images with the aid of a computer to generate cross-sectional and three-dimensional images of internal organs and structures of the body. A CT scan is a low-risk procedure. Contrast material may be injected into a vein or the spinal fluid to enhance the scan.
Acute pain. This type of pain typically comes on suddenly and lasts for a few days or weeks, and is considered a normal response of the body to injury or tissue damage. The pain gradually subsides as the body heals.
Pain in the lower back may be linked to the bony lumbar spine, discs between the vertebrae, ligaments around the spine and discs, spinal cord and nerves, lower back muscles, abdomen and pelvic internal organs, and the skin around the lumbar area. Pain in the upper back may be due to disorders of the aorta, tumors in the chest, and spine inflammation.
I have been using the Ergo21™ LiquiCell Original Seat Cushion for several weeks at my desk chair and can confirm that it is very comfortable. I have less fatigue and don’t have to shift my weight to find a comfortable seated position. I recommend it to anybody who has to sit for long periods of time.
Acupuncture, which originates from China, consists of inserting fine needles and specific points in the body. Acupuncture can help the body release its natural painkillers – endorphins – as well as stimulating nerve and muscle tissue.
THE TAKEAWAY: You are not doomed by your MRI. Many people with abnormal results are pain free. According to a 2009 research review published in The Lancet, clinicians should refrain from routine, immediate lumbar imaging in patients with LBP without features suggesting a serious underlying condition. For you, that means asking your doctor about what other diagnostic avenues he or she will use besides an MRI. Especially if you’re hearing about your MRI results and the word “surgery” comes up.
THE TAKEAWAY: Attempts to “release” or inhibit the Psoas through manual techniques is misguided. Stretching your hip flexors (illiacus, rectus femoris) is okay, but doing so isn’t stretching your psoas. Also, remember that tight hip flexors have not been shown to be associated with excessive lumbar lordosis, anterior pelvic tilt, or as a cause of LBP.