Why is back pain so common?
In short, genetics as well as “wear and tear,” are the major reasons so many people feel back pain at one time or another. Either we aren’t moving enough, or we’re doing things incorrectly. While some people are predisposed to back problems, others suffer from a mechanical problem, such as a pulled muscle. Back problems can be caused by a variety of factors, including physical risk factors.
- Physical labor is a heavy responsibility
- Lifting and forceful movements
- Bending and twisting
- Whole-body vibration
- Static work positions
Back pain can also be caused by stress and psychological issues.
Why It is so difficult to diagnose?
To put it mildly, the human body is complex. Everybody is different. You can see why diagnosing a human computer can be difficult when you consider all possible problems. The human spine has three types of cartilage. The pain generators are bones, muscles and ligaments.
Why It is so difficult to treat?
It’s complex, that’s the short answer. It’s exponentially more complicated to interact with all these components. Rarely is there a problem at one point. The majority of back pain is caused by the whole system going haywire. There are many ways to make your back pain go away.
What is the average time it takes to fix a disc?
Because the disc is the largest organ of the body, it takes many months to absorb the nutrients. It absorbs nutrients slowly from the surrounding tissues. These disc bulges are common. If the bulge does not affect the bones or nerves, we can have them and not feel back pain. A degenerated or torn disc can be left untreated for the rest of your life. A disc can never be as strong even after it heals. A damaged disc is just like a car in an accident.
Are chiropractic treatments effective?
The treatment options available depend on the condition of your back. Chiropractic treatments aim to align your spine. Poor posture, repetitive stress or injury can cause vertebral bones to shift slightly out of alignment. Chiropractors adjust the spine manually to place the bones where they belong.
If you have bone disease, such as osteoporosis or rheumatoid, it is best to avoid chiropractic treatment. For more information on these and other complementary and alternate treatments, see Chapter 7.
How long can epidural injections last for? How do they work?
Although patients may feel better immediately due to the numbing effects of the anesthetics, it can take several days for the body to fully absorb the effect. The effects of epidural steroid injections can last for several months. Patients may need to receive another dose before their body’s natural healing process begins. Sometimes, however, the injection can only last a few days.
The injection reduces pain and inflammation. The injection does not heal the disc but it can buy time until the disc heals.
What does it really mean to “shave” discs?
This is a common term, but it is actually a misnomer. The bulging part is what surgeons do not remove from a disc.
What is the amount of discectomy?
It can vary. Sometimes, surgeons just remove the fragment (ruptured part). Sometimes, the surgeon will remove all of the bulge and any remaining tissue. It could take as little as 5 percent to remove the material. Or it could be as high at 80 percent. It makes the disc unstable, and the disc collapses, leaving the spine with bones on bones. This is something we want to avoid.
What can I do to rehabilitate my disc after a discectomy?
To provide cushion, surgeons will often leave as much disc material as possible. Sometimes, a disc piece that was not damaged can herniate the same way as the one before it. Only surgeons who are performing fusions will remove the entire disc.
How long does it take for nerve damage to be repaired?
Although nerves can be repaired to a certain extent, not all of them are able to heal completely. It happens when your finger is cut and a numb area develops. This usually disappears after several weeks. Sometimes it can take months or even a whole year.
Nerves can become damaged by prolonged pressure, surgical complications, and the initial injury. There may be some nerve damage that is not fully healed.
Artificial discs aren’t as popular as knee and hip replacements.
The hip and knee joints are much more complex than the spine. The spine can be compressed (shock absorption), stretched, flexion/extension, lateral bend, twisting/rotation and sliding movements. Each level has a disc, two paired facet joints and a spine. The disease process can often be found at all three levels. The disc can be replaced to allow for more motion, and also more motion in the facets. This could help alleviate the pain.
Spinal fusions can be dangerous and are rarely necessary, according to my understanding.
Fusions can be quite invasive, but they can save the lives of those with severely damaged joints and bone spurs that block nerve passages. Fusion is what the body does in natural response to certain trauma conditions.
People may feel that their mobility is better after fusion, as they no longer have to suffer from pain.
Patients with only a few degrees of disease, instability or significant changes to MRI scans are most likely to be able to have fusion. For more information on fusions, and other surgical procedures, see Chapter 9.
The FDA takes forever to approve new procedures. Is it really so risky to receive treatment outside the country?
It could be. There are many complications that can arise and local doctors may not be able to pick up from foreign physicians. Many experimental treatments are simply that, experimental. They often have less rigorous study designs and require shorter follow-ups than the FDA. Don’t assume that your insurance will cover this treatment. It might be a better idea to look for clinical trials in this area. For more information, see Chapter 10.
It’s true, I’m lazy. Is exercise actually worth it?
It is, in a word: yes. It’s important for back pain rehabilitation and maintaining a healthy spine. Exercise will relieve common strain/sprain back discomfort and help reduce its likelihood of recurrence.
Exercise is not a guarantee that your back won’t hurt. Sometimes, a bad move or too much exercise can cause injury. The bottom line is that you must exercise if you want your body to feel great. For exercises that will keep your back healthy, see Chapters 14-17.
Do special mattresses help?
They can. You don’t want to sleep on a stiff mattress. A mattress that supports your spine’s natural curves is ideal. The environment is adjusted to fit your body with ergonomics. This is true for both mattresses and computers, as well as car seats and car seats.