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What Is Spinal Stenosis
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May 14th, 2009

What Is Spinal Stenosis?

Spinal stenosis is narrowing of an opening that the spinal cord or a spinal nerve passes through.

The spinal cord extends from the brain to the lower back and carries messages between the body and the brain in a top-down manner. It is encased in the spinal canal, an opening in the vertebral column that is protected by the bony parts of the vertebrae. The spinal canal is occupied by the spinal cord and the posterior longitudinal ligament, which sits between the cord and the back of the vertebra. Some people have congenitally narrow spinal canals and some people develop spinal stenosis later in life, usually due to ossification of the ligament.







The spinal nerves branch off of the spinal cord and pass through the neural foramen between the vertebrae. There’s a pair of spinal nerves between each pair of vertebrae, and they innervate the body parallel to the vertebrae. Spinal stenosis occurs when the neural foramen is narrowed or when vertebral structures encroach on the intervertebral space.

Causes
A lot of things can cause spinal stenosis. Some of them are:
· Congenital spinal stenosis—you are born with it
· Scoliosis or other progressive inherited conditions that narrow the spinal openings
· Injury that results in a slipped disc, vertebral fractures or other trauma to the vertebral column
· Medical conditions, such as Paget’s disease, where abnormal bone metabolism causes deformity of the vertebrae
· Toxins, particularly excessive exposure to fluoride in insecticides, which causes abnormal bone growth
· Degenerative diseases, such as arthritis, that are part of the aging process

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Symptoms
Symptoms of spinal stenosis are due to nerve compression, and depend on where the compression is located.

Cervical spinal stenosis affects the nerves to the neck and arms, so the symptoms are pain and other sensory abnormalities in the neck, shoulders and arms, weakness of the shoulders or arms and difficulty grasping things. Symptoms are usually on one side or the other. If the spinal cord is involved, you can also have gait problems and loss of coordination.

Lumbar spinal stenosis involves the nerves in the lower back. Leg pain or numbness are the most common symptoms; weakness in one or both legs also occurs. With lumbar stenosis, symptoms are more likely to be on one side or the other.

Treatment
Spinal stenosis is usually treated with anti-inflammatories and pain medication as long as possible. If the pain is intractable or if there are functional problems, like weakness, the narrowed openings are opened up surgically. Sometimes the surgery can be done through an endoscope instead of with traditional surgical methods.

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About the Author: David Betz is a consultant doing work for Laser Spine Surgery http://www.laserspineinstitute.com

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Herniated Disc Pain
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March 16th, 2009


Herniated Disc Pain: Finding A Cure

By Adam Webster Webster

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Herniated disc refers to the protrusion of the disc. It is basically the same when one says of a bulging disc. This condition is painful. Its occurrence is manifested by a herniated disc pain that is usually felt on the back area. This condition is generally common on the lumbar area than on other areas of the spine.

As a person grows older, his or her disc tends to be brittle, dry and less cushiony. Once the disc is weak, the outer part is prone to tearing or any damage. The internal substance of the disc pushes through the tear. As this happens, the person can experience herniated disc pain. Herniated disc occurs for most people aging from 30 years old and up.



Herniated disc pain can be felt at the lower back part down to the legs and feet. But generally, the pain is felt in one side only. The pain will be manifested depending on which side the weak or damaged disc is located. The herniated disc pain also varies on the pressure put upon the nerve by the bulging disc. Most patients under this condition complain of spreading pain over their buttocks that goes down one thigh down to their calf. Others experienced the herniated disc pain on their two legs, while some legs felt numb, weak or tingly.

To reduce your herniated disc pain, or to minimize its intensity, try shifting positions. You may discover that supporting yourself up with both your hands while sitting down alleviates the pain. Shifting weight from one side is also helpful.

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Physicians make sure if their patients are really suffering from a herniated disc by asking relevant questions, doing some thorough physical examinations, and diagnostic testing like x-rays, magnetic resonance imaging and computer tomography scan. Medications may be prescribed to ease the pain. Somehow, it helps depending on the patient’s reaction to it. Other than medications, some form of treatments are then applied like physical exercises as ordered by a professional physical therapist, special massages for suitable for such medical conditions, chiropractic care, postural changes and the last resort, surgery. Surgeries are only done when all the other non-invasive treatments do not work and if severe pain is still present after six weeks or more. But note that not all herniated disc patients can get surgery for their treatment. It will still greatly depend on their entire health condition, their decision and other essential factors.

Herniated disc pain varies from mild, moderate to extremely agonizing. Apropos medications and treatments may be readily available, but do not neglect the fact that not all work the same for everybody. You may need a different approach than what most are taking. But be assured that with technologies and medical science that they are these days, there seem to be enough solutions to medical crisis already.

Adam Webster is the author of numerous health related articles and books. His latest back related articles can be found here: http://www.squidoo.com/InversionTables

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Spinal Surgery
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March 16th, 2009


Something Good About Spine Surgery

By Francisco Mejias

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Spine Surgery was found a more effective treatment for degenerative spondylolisthesis with spinal stenosis than were non-surgical methods according to an article in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Surgery is commonly used as a treatment for degenerative spondylolisthesis with spinal stenosis. There has been controversy regarding it’s effectiveness in comparison with non-surgical methods.



Degenerative spondylolisthesis is a condition in which breakdown of the cartilage between the vertebrae of the spine causes one vertebra to slip over the one below. This can result in narrowing of the spinal column — spinal stenosis, which places pressure on the nerves, resulting in pain in the buttocks or legs while walking or standing.

This study tracked 370 patients who received a type of surgery known as decompressive laminectomy and 235 who received non-surgical treatments like physical therapy, steroid injections and analgesic medications. These patients were tracked over the course of two years. This trial showed a significant advantage to surgery at 3 months, which decreased only slightly over the course of the two years in terms of mobility and the return of pain.

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Back Pain Relief
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December 4th, 2008

Back Pain Solutions Without Surgery

By Hemant Yagnick, M.D.

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The most common back pain is low back pain (LBP). It is is often described as sudden, sharp, persistent, or dull pain felt below the waist. LBP is very common and affects the majority of people at some point during their life. Up to 70%–85% of all people have back pain at some time in their lives. LBP is the most common cause of a limitation of activity in people younger than 45 years of age. It is the second most frequent reason for visits to a physician, and the third most common indication for surgery. It is the fifth-ranking cause of hospital admissions and is one of the leading causes of disability.

Low back pain is most commonly caused by muscle strain associated with heavy physical work, lifting or forceful movement, bending or twisting, awkward positions, or standing in one position too long. Any of these movements can exacerbate a prior or existing back disorder. Other conditions that can cause low back pain include spinal stenosis, arthritis (osteoarthritis), spinal infection (osteomyelitis), spinal tumors (benign and malignant), spondylolisthesis, and vertebral fractures (e.g. burst fracture).



Low back pain is either acute or chronic. Acute LBP may begin suddenly with intense pain usually lasting fewer than three months. Chronic pain is persistent long-term pain, sometimes lasting throughout life. Even chronic pain may present episodes of acute pain. Other symptoms include localized pain in a specific area of the low back, general aching, and/or pain that radiates into the low back, general aching, and/or pain that radiates into the low back, buttocks and leg(s). Sometimes pain is accompanied by neurological symptoms such as numbness, tingling, or weakness. Neurological symptoms requiring immediate medical attention include bowel or bladder dysfunction, groin or leg weakness or numbness, severe symptoms that do not subside after a few days, or pain prohibiting everyday activities.

Pain felt in the low back is not always indicative of a spinal problem. A thorough physical and neurological assessment may reveal the cause of the low back pain. The physical examination begins with the patient’s current condition and medical history. Examination of a patient with low back pain involves examining the patient’s range of spinal motion while standing straight, bending forward, and to the side. Asymmetry, posture, and leg length is noted. Methodical palpation of the spine can reveal muscle spasm, possible bony displacement, and tender points. Abdominal palpation is performed to determine if the cause of low back pain is possibly organ related (e.g. pancreas). The neurological assessment evaluates weakness, absence of reflexes, tingling, burning, pain, diminished function, and other signs that may indicate nerve involvement.

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If infection, malignancy, fracture, or other risk factors are suspected, routine lab tests may be ordered. These tests may include complete blood count (CBC), erythrocyte sedimentation (ESR), and urinalysis. In some cases electrodiagnostic studies such as electromyography (EMG) or nerve condition velocity (NCV) are performed to confirm a diagnosis or localize the site of nerve injury. Plain radiographs (x-rays), CT Scan, and/or MRI studies are performed when fracture or neurological dysfunction is suspected. A MRI represents the gold standard in imaging today. A MRI renders high-resolution images of spinal tissues such as the spinal cord and intervertebral discs. X-rays are still the imaging methods of choice to study the bony elements in the low back. The results of the physical and neurological examinations combines with test results are carefully evaluated to confirm a diagnosis.

Most patients with low back pain are treated without surgery. A conventional treatment plan may include bed rest for a day or two combines with medication to reduce inflammation and pain. Medications recommended by the physician are based on the patient’s medical condition, age, other drugs the patient currently takes, and safety. The first choice for pain relief is often nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These drugs should be taken with food to prevent stomach upset and stomach bleeding. Muscle relaxants may provide relief from muscle spasm but are actually benign sedatives, which often cause drowsiness. Narcotic pain relievers are prescribed for use during the acute phase and often for chronic pain management in appropriate patients.



Other modalities to treat low back pain might include physical therapy (PT), transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator (TENS) trial, ultrasound therapy, acupuncture and massage therapy. A managed PT program can help build muscle strength and flexibility, improve mobility, coordination, stability and balance, and promote relaxation. Patients who participate in a structured physical therapy program often progress to wellness more rapidly than those who do not. This includes low back maintenance through a home exercise program developed for the patient by the physical therapist.

Although the number of spinal surgeries done every year is on the rise, it is rarely required to treat low back pain. Surgery may be considered if the patient is experiencing bowel or bladder dysfunction, increased nerve impairment, progressive weakness, incapacitating pain, or spinal instability. The surgical procedure depends on the diagnosis or the cause of low back pain. To prevent low back pain, first and foremost, follow the treatment plan outlined by the physician. To enhance recovery from an episode of low back pain, or to help prevent future exacerbation, try to maintain good posture, be consistent in a home exercise program, and eat sensibly to maintain proper body weight.

Hemant Yagnick, M.D., is an Interventional Pain Specialist and Medical Director of the Walton Pain Center in Augusta, GA. Dr. Yagnick believes that chronic pain is a complex medical condition influenced by biological, physical, behavioral, environmental and social forces. His new two-week comprehensive inpatient program helps patients receive relief from pain while becoming trained in coping techniques, speeds up their return to work and improves their quality of life. Dr. Yagnick earned his medical degree from JN Medical College and Hospital. He completed his residency in anesthesiology and an Interventional Pain Fellowship at Mississippi Medical Center. Visit http://www.wrh.org

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Lower Back Pain And Pregnancy
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November 19th, 2008

Low Back Pain and Pregnancy: How to Have a Pain-Free Back During and After Pregnancy

By Dr. Robert Duvall

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Four million women will successfully give birth this year – and that’s just in the United States. The bad news is that two out of every three women will suffer from lower back pain and herniated discs by the 36th week of pregnancy.

Lower Back Pain Interferes With Your Quality of Life

Not only will lower back pain become a horrible interruption in your daily activities, but it will also interfere with your quality of life. And, it can ruin your enjoyment of one of the most memorable times of your life. Here’s how.

Pregnancy at first can be very exciting for most new moms. You’re deciding on baby names. Painting the nursery. Buying baby clothes, toys and furniture. And, most of all you’re enjoying family celebrations. The joy of pregnancy is one of life’s greatest pleasures. However, for many women the later pregnancy months can be quite challenging and painful. And, it’s not just because of morning sickness!

Your lower back hurts. It feels like someone keeps stabbing you with a knife. You feel it over and around your spine, and the pain even radiates to your legs. Sitting or standing for long periods of time makes your back hurt more. And this pain intensifies as your day goes on.



The Hidden Cause of Your Lower Back Pain Not Seen by the Untrained Eye

The obvious cause of lower back pain in pregnant women just like you is the biomechanical stress being placed on them by the added weight of their baby. Your uterus will expand and shift your center of gravity. It will stretch and weaken your abdominal muscles. It changes your posture and puts a strain on your lower back.

As the baby gains weight, you will be pulled forward. To compensate for this forward pull, you’ll probably lean backward like most women do. This alone puts a tremendous amount of pressure on your lower back and pelvis.

The hidden cause of your lower back pain is actually muscle imbalances. The primary cause of your herniated disc or bulge is uneven compression and torsion that’s placed on your lower back. This uneven pressure is caused by imbalances in muscles that pull the spine out of its normal position. Your body is now forced to function in what I call a physical dysfunction.

If the dysfunctions are not addressed, they will continue to place uneven pressure and strain on the discs in your back. Sooner or later you will likely have another problem with that disc, or others.

Reduce Low Back Pain and Herniated Discs by
Identifying the Underlying Causes of Your Problem.

Unfortunately, most doctors, chiropractors and physical therapists don’t spend time or focus on identifying the hidden causes or physical dysfunctions that are responsible for your lower back pain.

So most pregnant women grin and accept back pain as a normal part of their pregnancy. However, You can take steps to stop the soreness. It’s a good idea to learn these techniques now, because you’ll probably need them again later when your back is bearing the strain of constantly lifting your 7- to 10-pound baby or your 20-pound toddler.

3 Steps to Reducing Back Pain Before & After Your Pregnancy

1. Understanding muscle imbalances: The solution to a pain-free back during and after pregnancy is based on a better understanding of muscle imbalances and how your body works. You must understand what muscle imbalances are, how they are created and how they cause low back pain.

2. Know your habits, patterns, postures and positions: You must identify your muscle imbalances and understand how they are causing you pain. Assess how you sit, stand, walk lift, bend or otherwise put your body through hell every
day.

3. Get the RIGHT Help: Find a qualified Manual Physical Therapist who is trained to assess postural dysfunction. Demand that they create both a short term and a long-term plan of recovery for you filled with the right combination of corrective exercises, stretches and treatments.

Understanding back pain and taking action are two totally different animals. But, if you want to reduce back pain and start enjoying one of the most memorable times of your life again, then you must educate your self and take action everyday. It is never to late to start a program of recovery on your own or with help from an expert.

Dr. Robert Duvall has helped thousands of mothers suffering from back pain using this approach in his clinic and around the country. For more information on how you can have a pain-free back during and after your pregnancy so you can once again enjoy one of the most memorable times of your life, get your FREE COPY of the latest Back Pain Advisory from The Healthy Back Institute at: http://www.losethebackpain.com/herniateddisc.html

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Degenerative Disc Disease
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October 15th, 2008

Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative Discs Are Reversible

By Marion Chaney Chaney

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Degenerative Disc Disease is the deterioration of the fragile and thin cartilage between the vertebrae of the spine. Degeneration of the disc, medically referred to as spondylosis, can be noted on x ray tests by the narrowing of the normal disc space between adjacent vertebrae, thereby causing pain (from mild to severe depending on the amount of degeneration) by the rubbing or touching of the vertebrae bones. This loss of cartilage can be caused by loss of water in the cartilage and usually, but not always, occurs with aging.

However, degenerative discs are reversible. You will probably not hear that from your health care professional. When degenerative discs are detected, the doctors immediately prescribe pain medication and cortisone to reduce the inflammation. However, continued use of cortisone has many serious side effects such as increased appetite and weight gain, water and salt retention, high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis, cataracts, and/or stomach ulcers, just to name a few.




The next step following the cortisone is spinal fusion. The goal of spinal fusion is to eliminate the motion of the vertebrae at a spinal segment, thus reducing pain caused by the motion. This is done by one of two ways, either by using metallic screws and rods/plates or inter-body cages to immobilize the spine, which can loosen, break or pull out of the bone. Plus, more pain could result if the operation is unsuccessful; thereby leading to additional procedures and subsequent pressure placed on the neighboring discs, and the progression is repeated.

I suffered from degenerative discs and through exercise was able to reverse it. The bones that were degenerative were at my waist and developed because I did not have curvature in my lower spine, thereby making the cartilage between the bones in the lumbar region degenerate. By exercising to open up the degenerative discs, I was able to build up the discs and even lost one-half inch in height because the curvature was put back into my spine. By working with my chiropractor on a regular basis to keep my spinal cord aligned and in correct adjustment, exercising my back by specific exercises targeting the area of disc degeneration, and wearing either a back belt and/or using special seat cushions and pillows, the degenerating discs were reversed.

CLICK HERE For Very Important Degenerative Disc Disease Information

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The exercise the worked for me because of the specific area of my spine (the lumbar area) that degenerated was the yoga cobra pose. This exercise is great for people with lower back pain and decreases stiffness in the lower back, enlarges the chest and strengthens the arms and shoulders.

To perform the cobra pose:
Step 1: Lie on your belly while your head rests on your lower arms.
Step 2: Raise your forehead, look upwards and stretch your hands backwards. Let your weight rest on your chest.
Step 3: The head falls a little backwards towards your back and the backward movement proceeds from the neck and the chin. Move your belly further backward as if someone is pulling your arms. The weight is more and more shifted towards the belly and the lower back does the real work.

This exercise opens up the space between the vertebrae, thereby building up the cartilage between the discs. Also, drink a lot of water to hydrate the body, but more specifically the cartilage.

This exercise only works for the degenerative disks that degenerated at the front of the spine (facing forward). For exercising different types of degenerative discs, the recommendation would be to exercise in order to open up the side that lost the cartilage.

The reversal of the degenerative discs does not happen overnight, but takes time and consistency. However, the result is pain free with no adverse side effects.

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Spinal Stenosis
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September 17th, 2008

Cervical Stenosis Physical Therapy Treatment

By Milos Pesic

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The vertebrae are a series of bones connected to each other forming the neck, also known as the cervical spine. The spinal canal, which encloses the spinal cord, runs through the vertebrae. The spinal cord contains major nerves that allow arm and leg movements, sensation, including bladder control and bowel movements.

Cervical stenosis is the condition characterized by the narrowing of the spinal canal. It occurs with age as the intervertebral discs starts to lack water content and hardens. The discs can shrink in height and stick out into the spinal canal. Spinal joints also bulge and protrude into the spinal canal. When the spinal canal narrows, the resulting pressure on the spinal cord leads to another condition called cervical myelopathy, which affects nerve functions.

Cervical stenosis usually does not have symptoms. If it has advanced to cervical myelopathy, the patient may experience neck and arm pain, weakness, and difficulty in moving the arms and legs. Incontinence also occurs in later stages of the disease. Symptoms may appear gradually or develop rapidly.





Early detection plays a crucial role in the prevention and treatment of cervical stenosis and cervical myelopathy. Your doctor will perform a physical examination and diagnostic tests and recommend an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging ) and CT (Computed Tomography) scan to be able to see the level of narrowing of the spinal canal. You may have to undergo other tests for a complete diagnosis.

What are the treatments for Cervical Stenosis?

Depending on the stage of cervical stenosis, treatments may be operative or non-operative. Usually, patients who have severe fragility and pain in the affected areas and difficulty in walking require surgery. Non-operative or conservative treatment, which includes cervical stenosis physical therapy, is ideal for mild cases.

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Patients should understand that cervical stenosis physical therapy would not reduce the narrowing of the spinal canal or bring it back to normal size. The goal of cervical stenosis physical therapy is long-term pain management and increased function that will enable the patient to control pain effectively and function normally without having to undergo surgery.

Cervical stenosis physical therapy starts with improving flexibility in the neck, arms and legs through stretching exercises. It is also important to increase circulation and develop endurance in the arms and legs with cardiovascular exercises such as swimming and treadmill exercises. Your therapist may also add strengthening exercises in your program. While most of these exercises are always under professional supervision, your therapist will also provide you with exercises that you can perform independently.

Supervised cervical stenosis physical therapy may take three or more months. If your condition does not improve after cervical stenosis physical therapy, your physician will then recommend surgery.

Milos Pesic is a successful webmaster and owner of popular and comprehensive Physical Therapy information site. For more articles and resources on Physical Therapy related topics, Physical Therapy exercises and much more visit his site at:

=>http://physical-therapy.need-to-know.net/

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Allergies That Cause Back Pain
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May 28th, 2008

Back Pain

Allergies That Cause Back Pain

There are many ways that back problems can occur. One of the most difficult to deal with is back pain caused by an allergy. This problem is more common than we would think. Take your back problems serious because if you do not treat it, your back problems can become severe.

Try To Find The Cause

A person dealing with back pain, should take the most important step of finding out what allergies is causing the reaction. There are several different allergies that a person can have but springtime seems to be the worst time of year to get them. Have a doctor do several tests on you to determine exactly what you are allergic to.




These are various allergies that you could have:

Animal dander, house dust, house-dust mites, yeasts, certain drugs and foods, and bee/wasp stings can also cause allergic reactions. Milk, eggs, shellfish, dried fruits, nuts, and certain food dyes can cause food allergies.

Dealing With Lower Back Pain

There are steps that need to be taken to see what is the best treatment for the person has has the intolerance to the allergens. Depending if the back pain is acute or chronic, there are some very effective options.

What happens with sudden acute low back pain, is it comes on all of a sudden and you don’t know where it came from. Chronic lower back pain is the recurring type and can last for a couple months to even longer in some cases.

Drugs are typically the first step in the treatment plan. For people who are suffering from back pain caused by allergies, there are prescription and non-prescription drugs that are available. The determination of what drug to take, will depend on how long and how serious a person has been suffering.

Anything from Advil to NSAID’s (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) can help to alleviate all types of back pain.

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There are risks in taking prescription drugs. There are possible side effects with drug interactions with other medications. Be careful and always consult your doctor.

Always read the labels of the medication you are taking even the ones prescribed by a doctor. This will ensure that you have as little cause for an allergic reaction as possible.

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A good diet is also important. There are also supplements and vitamins that can help with your nutrition.

It is important for people who are dealing with back pain caused by allergies to know that there is treatment available to help them with their pain. You need to talk to your doctor ASAP and get the proper treatment for the condition you are suffering from before it get worse. Or the worst thing that could happen is that it becomes permanent.

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About the Author: Steve has many articles published in a variety of niches. He has 20 various websites from golfing to healthcare and has achieved expert author status in all of them.

This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Seek the guidance of a licensed physician if you need medical advice.

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Scoliosis
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May 16th, 2008

Scoliosis

Exercises to Correct Scoliosis

by: Saurabh Jain

A question that people normally ask is whether exercises to correct scoliosis are effective. Scoliosis is the lateral curvature of the spine. It is a progressive disease. Experts feel that exercises to correct scoliosis are not that effective, as little evidence is found about the effectiveness of exercises. However, exercises do help in slowing down the progress of the spinal curvature and allow for some reduction in the angle of curvature. Stretching exercises are performed to increase the mobility of the spine in the right direction. The physical therapist also tries to improve the muscle tone and posture. The thrust of these exercises is to exert corrective force on the spine in the direction opposite the direction of the curve.



Scoliosis Braces and Exercise to Correct Scoliosis

People wearing scoliosis braces are often suggested exercise to correct scoliosis. These exercises are aimed at helping the wearer adapt to the brace, to allow for correction of the spinal deformity, and to improve trunk muscular tone during the period braces are worn. Braces tend to lead the muscles into losing muscle tone. The physical therapist suggests other exercises for trunk and pelvic correction, which are required to be performed everyday.

Exercise to correct scoliosis does help in a limited way to reduce curve angles by several degrees. This has found to help the breathing process in people who do these exercises regularly. It has not been observed whether the improvement in curvature is of permanent nature. Exercises are not an alternative to surgery procedure. Where surgery is recommended, it should not be delayed in favor of therapeutic exercise.

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Scoliosis is not related to flexibility issues or lack of strength. Thus, exercise to correct scoliosis is relatively ineffective. However, scoliosis does not act as a deterrent to normal physical activity. Children and teenagers with scoliosis can participate in sports and recreational activities. They can even perform normal exercises that help build muscle strength and endurance. They can even train to improve their cardiovascular conditioning like normal people.


About The Author

Saurabh Jain is the Executive Editor of Online Back pain resource, www.backpain-resources-online.com

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. He has developed this site to provide valuable information to people suffering from back pain. This site enumerates different causes and factors related to back pain, guides through the different back pain treatments and suggests exercises for treatments of different types of back pain. The site is a free online resource for back pain and its remedies. The visitors can also find valuable information and reviews about the different equipments and therapies for back pain relief. Visit www.backpain-resources-online.com
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April 16th, 2008

Chiropractor

A Breakthrough for Chiropractic Patients: ‘Snapshots’ of Their Nervous System Lead Them to Wellness

by: ARA Content

‘Insight Subluxation Station’ provides color scans of problems and progress

(ARA) – People under chiropractic care often wonder: “Why do I have to keep coming back if I’m pain free?” or “How do I know I’m getting the proper amount of adjustments?” Thanks to a breakthrough in technology, however, these questions no longer arise for patients in chiropractic offices that are equipped with a new tool known as the Insight Subluxation Station. These patients can now see for themselves, as their care progresses, that they’re getting the proper number of adjustments, and will also be able to better understand why pain-free does not always equate to “problem solved.”




This advance, which offers major advantages for patients and chiropractors alike, provides patients with tangible, objective visual evidence of the problems they sought help for and how their treatment is progressing. The Subluxation Station scans for, detects and provides clear, color-coded scans of the patient’s spinal misalignments (subluxations) and clearly demonstrates their effects on the patient. These are indicators that, because they are located in muscles, nerves and soft tissue, cannot be seen on x-ray.

Developed by the Chiropractic Leadership Alliance or CLA, a privately held company devoted to advancing chiropractic among the public and within the profession, the Insight is rapidly becoming as indispensable as x-ray machines themselves. This equipment helps the chiropractor implement definitive care for the individual patient, monitor progress, and reassure patients of that progress. The color scans, viewed over time, are like snapshots of the effects of accumulated stress. With them, the doctor gains a visual story of what has been happening in a given patient’s life that is affecting their body.

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Dr. Patrick Gentempo, co-founder and chief executive officer of the CLA, was instrumental in the development of this new technology and equipment. He reports: “Now patients no longer need to rely solely on the doctor, but can see for themselves where there are abnormal nerve patterns leading to a loss of their health potential. With periodic re-testing they can also see how care has affected the picture, and if they still need attention.”

Many patients ask, “Isn’t absence of pain, or increased mobility, a sign of complete recovery?” says Dr. Gentempo. To the contrary, he relates: “We’ve all heard of someone who felt perfectly fine the day before they suffered a fatal heart attack. The reality is that whether or not obvious symptoms are present, there can still be subtle communication gaps in the central nervous system. Until the Insight scans show that the pattern of nerve function is in a healthy state, the patient will need continued chiropractic adjustments.”

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According to Dr. Gentempo, since only a small portion of the nervous system, which is the master control center of the entire body, is used to experience pain, it is critical that we assess as much of it as we can. “We developed the Insight so that patients can see, and understand for themselves, why continued treatment is necessary. The purpose of this technology is to improve communication between doctor and patient, and, ultimately, help motivate people to incorporate chiropractic into a wellness lifestyle for the whole family, like eating healthy foods and exercising,” he says.

Insight Subluxation Station uses three safe, pain free and effective tests. It performs the SEMG (surface electromyography) scan to measure the amount of electrical activity in the muscles, thermal scanning to measure skin temperature along the spine, and the digital inclinometer to measure the range of motion of the spine. These three proven technologies are quick and easy to perform, and are uniquely able to show the results in clear, color-coded visual images that are easily understandable by the patient.

Another common question is if we have no pain, how can we know it’s time to see a chiropractor? Says Dr. Gentempo: “In today’s fast-paced environment it is normal that people have physical, chemical and emotional stresses beyond the individual’s ability to remove or even adapt to. As a result, subluxations and nerve disturbance are extremely common. There is abundance medical and scientific evidence that even a small amount of nerve disturbance or pressure can cause altered nerve function. Thus, I can’t overemphasis the importance of regular trips to the chiropractor, even before symptoms appear, to check for spinal subluxations. This is preventive, so that an individual may optimize their potential for good health and at the same time prevent future health challenges before they become severe.”

Spinal subluxations (misalignments) can be present for months, or even years, before a patient experiences any symptoms. Explaining how this is possible Dr. Gentempo uses this analogy: “If the front end of your car is out of alignment, you can still drive. However, in time the misalignment will cause wear and tear on the tires, and eventually a blowout will occur. In the human body, heavy lifting, improper movements, sitting too long or in the wrong kind of chair, or even emotional stresses can result in abnormal positioning of the vertebrae and nerve disturbance.”

To use another analogy, he says: “It’s like too much stress going into an electrical circuit in your house, and as a result the circuit breaker is tripped. Let’s say that the circuit goes to your refrigerator. The food in the refrigerator will now spoil. Most people, and many other health professionals, would see the ‘spoiled food’ in their refrigerator and think that the refrigerator was the problem! They may even try and replace the spoiled food with good food — only to find that this good food will again spoil. The chiropractor, on the other hand, seeks to turn on the power that goes through the refrigerator (the human body) and thus deal with the cause of the problem rather than its end results.”

When symptoms of subluxation of the spine finally occur they can appear as back or neck pain, but also as other seemingly unrelated problems, Dr. Gentempo notes. “There may be decreased immune function and less vitality in general,” he says. Unless the spinal misalignment, or subluxation is corrected, Dr. Gentempo advises, “The body will be unable to properly heal itself and deterioration will progress, until it may be very serious.”

Dr. Christopher Kent, who co-founded the CLA with Dr. Gentempo, is one of the country’s most respected chiropractors, well-known as a researcher and author. He believes that the Insight technology and equipment will help not only patients but also the doctors who utilize it. “Too many people still view chiropractic as solely a treatment for back and neck pain and other musculoskeletal problems,” he says. “They mistakenly believe the chiropractor should simply ‘crack the back’ and solve their immediate problem. This misconception is shortchanging themselves as well as the profession. Chiropractic is actually a network of highly educated professional healthcare providers who got into this profession to help people get and stay well. They want to see all members of the family, newborns through seniors, achieve the optimal health and wellbeing that is their birthright. Chiropractic is about understanding the marvelous human body’s ability to heal itself and removing all obstacles to that healing. This includes making necessary lifestyle changes, and having regular chiropractic care in order to correct spinal misalignments when they occur.”

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Chiropractors today have in fact earned a newfound respect, as millions of people spread the word about how they have been helped. As a result of this encouraging grassroots movement, chiropractors have increasingly become the first line for family health care services. Says Dr. Gentempo: “At the Chiropractic Leadership Alliance we are dedicated to helping chiropractors and their patients create a new paradigm for health and wellness. Because it provides evidence and accountability, the Insight Subluxation Station is a giant step forward towards this goal, for the benefit of patients and for the profession.”

For a free descriptive brochure on the Insight Subluxation Station and information on how to locate a chiropractor in your area who works with this new technology, write: Debra Cassera, Chiropractic Leadership Alliance, 255 W. Spring Valley Ave., Maywood, NJ 07607. The material is also available online at www.subluxation.com

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Courtesy ARA Content, www.ARAcontent.com

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This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Seek the guidance of a licensed physician if you need medical advice.

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