Tag: spinal stenosis

The spine is the body?s scaffolding. Its stacked column of 26 bones supports the head, shoulders, and upper body, and enables you to stand upright, bend over, and move. A number of conditions can affect the spine, causing pain and disrupting mobility. Spinal stenosis involves a narrowing of the spaces in various parts of the spine. This narrowing can put pressure on the spinal cord and nerves, causing pain or numbness in the back, arms, and/or legs. Some people with spinal stenosis also have trouble controlling bowel or bladder function.

You?re more likely to develop spinal stenosis as you get older, due to wear and tear on the spine. Some people inherit a vulnerability to spinal narrowing. Other causes of spinal stenosis include herniated disks, tumors, and spinal injuries that dislodge or fracture the vertebrae of the spine.

Doctors use imaging tests such as x-rays and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to detect damage to the spine and diagnose spinal stenosis. Treatment for spinal stenosis can include medicines to ease nerve pain and reduce inflammation, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), muscle relaxants, antidepressants, and anti-seizure drugs. Opioid medicines can help with severe discomfort, but these powerful pain relievers need to be used with caution because they can become addictive.

Steroid injections can help relieve inflammation and reduce pressure on the spine. Physical therapy helps to strengthen the muscles that support the spine. A physical therapist can also teach exercises that improve flexibility and balance. Some people may need to use assistive devices, such as a cane or walker, to give them more stability while walking.

When these treatments don?t help, surgery may be an option. Procedures for spinal stenosis remove part of the affected vertebrae, creating an opening that relieves pressure on nerves. Metal hardware may be implanted to fill the gap left by the removed section(s), and keep the spine upright.

What Is Spinal Stenosis?

What Is Spinal Stenosis?

What is spinal stenosis? It’s a condition in which the spinal canal narrows due to:
A herniated disc that encroaches on the spinal canal from the front
Thickened ligaments that encroach on the canal from both sides.

A narrowed spinal canal impedes the blood supply to the nerves, causing pain. Bending forward increases

5. Back Pain

Almost any list of the most commonly reported pain conditions places back pain at or near the top. In a National Institute of Health Statistics survey regarding the most common types of pain, 27 percent of the respondents mentioned back pain first.
Risk Factors for Back Pain
Back pain does not discriminate.

Stay Fit by Strengthening Your Core

Your “core” includes your abdominal and pelvic muscles, as well as your lower back muscles. All the muscles in your core hold you up and stabilize your body. Keeping your core strong is critical to every move you make, as well as proper breathing, good digestive function, and good posture.

“Your

8. Surgery Is for a Minority

Only a small minority of people who battle low back pain will need surgery. Back pain surgery is either done in an emergency or electively (by choice). In this chapter, we’ll consider what goes into the decision to choose elective surgery as well as the situations that create the need

6. Noninvasive Treatments for Low Back Pain

According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, 90 percent of people with low back pain will recover within a month even without any treatment. Thus, acute and subacute pain is best managed conservatively.
The latest guidelines by the American College of Physicians (Annals of Internal Medicine, April 2017) strongly

5. Diagnosing Low Back Pain in the Doctor’s Office

Medical History
In assessing your low back pain, your physician will first take a detailed medical history of your back pain. A proper history is crucial to medical care since it directs the physical examination, assessment, and treatment. Oftentimes, your physician will gather hints of your diagnosis based on your

3. Causes of Back Pain

Back pain has a wide range of presentations and causes. Pain differs widely from person to person for reasons that are puzzling. This makes back pain one of the most challenging conditions for both the patient and healthcare provider.
Some individuals feel a constant ache across their lower back when

1. What Is Low Back Pain?

Despite being such a common ailment, back pain is not completely understood. More than 85 percent of all cases have a diagnosis of “nonspecific low back pain.” Nonspecific pain means that all potentially serious diagnoses have been ruled out, but the cause of the pain is still unknown. Many patients

Ouch! Nocturnal Leg Cramps—and How to Stop Them

Ouch! Nocturnal Leg Cramps—and How to Stop Them

Up to 60 percent of adults have had nocturnal leg cramps.[1] These recurrent, painful cramps usually strike the calf muscles and can cause frequent awakenings and severe insomnia. They are more common in people aged 50 years and older. If you’ve suffered through them, read on to learn how to

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