Spinal Decompression

April 23rd, 2011

Spinal decompression is used to treat back pain that is caused by problems such as a herniated disc or sciatica. Spinal stenosis makes the channels of the spinal column narrow, and pressure begins accumulating, causing the vertebrae to compress down on the discs in between. Such stress can lead to the damage that causes back problems such as bulged discs. It is used to reverse the effects and take stress off of the spine.

The Therapy

Spinal decompression therapy is most beneficial because it treats the exact injured location, not just the symptoms. It goes right to the source of the problem. When the spine is compressed the flow of nutrients and blood is cut off leading to deterioration and breakage. Picture if you had tight elastic rolled up onto your upper arm and it was putting pressure down, cutting off circulation to the lower portion of your arm. If you leave it long enough you can see that the color will begin to change and it is very clear that your arm is struggling. It is the same thing with the back, only it isn’t as visible and it takes a little more work than rolling off elastic.

Decompression can be achieved by using a therapeutic table that you are strapped into and a computer controls the table and it provides force and pressure to specific areas of the spine. The force being used against the stressed area will slowly cause it to decompress and the proper blood flow and nutrients can begin to be absorbed. There is also the option of surgery to remove any discs or widen the channels.  Using the spinal decompression special table often results in a permanent fix and for the most part, treatment is no longer needed again.

The Therapy Can be Used to Treat:

SD is a good resource if you are looking to treat back problems like herniated discs, pinched nerves, sciatica, and degenerative disc disease. These back problems may be the result of an injury from a fall or a car accident, bad posture, bad body mechanics or just old age. It should not be used if the area has metal rods or screws in place, it will not treat myelitis or fractures.

If you have tried taking medications, getting steroid shots, exercising, eating right and still have not found relief then decompression of the spine is a good idea because once you begin to get better you can stop missing time from work, make more money, and be able to become more active. Also non-surgical spinal decompression is the best option for if you simply just do not want to undergo surgery.

Stay Committed

Spinal-decompression can be costly and will take up a good portion of your time. If you are not committed to making each appointment and doing the necessary things that need to be done in order to find relief, then you are just wasting your time, as well as the therapist’s time. Then again, I don’t think they would be too bothered because they are still getting your money.

Spinal decompression will not be something that you regret doing. The change it makes in the health of your back is incredible. When you consider decompression you are also considering a new active fulfilling life without crippling pain holding you back.

Spondylolysis

March 5th, 2012

What is Spondylolysis?

Defect or injury leading to stress fracture in the vertebral bone (usually, the fifth lumbar vertebra in the lower back) forming the spinal column is medically termed as spondylolysis.

Spondylolysis Symptoms

1. Low back pain with the tendency to spread in the surrounding areas and giving a feeling of muscle strain is the first indication that the pain could be due to spondylolysis. This pain worsens with vigorous exercise or physical activity.

2. Spondylolysis is most common among the adolescent athletes, gymnasts, and typically affects the teens of 15-16 years of age.

3. Some spondylolysis patients also report tightening of hamstring muscles.

Spondylolysis may also be present without any of the above mentioned symptoms.

Causes of Spondylolysis

Spondylolysis is mainly caused by a weakness in a section of the vertebra known as pars interarticularis, which is a slender bone connecting the upper and lower facet joints segments. The causes of such weakness could be any of the following:

1. The patient may be predisposed to spondylolysis by having been born with slender vertebral bone.

2. Overuse of lower back in a short span of time or repetitive trauma in case of sportspersons, like gymnasts, weightlifters, few football moves and some athletic disciplines. This causes stress fracture on either or both sides of the vertebra.

Spondylolysis Treatment

1. Complete rest of the spinal muscles is advised in the initial stages to prevent further damage and allowing the fracture to heal by itself. Over the counter Non-Steroidal Anti inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS) are usually prescribed (e.g., ibuprofen) for reduction of inflammation and pain. In case NSAIDS do not work effectively, stronger medications and even epidural steroid injections may be prescribed. The doctors may also suggest a program of physiotherapy for building muscle strength and encouraging pain-free movements.

2. Severe cases of spondylolysis may also be prescribed a brace or back support in order to stabilize and support the lower back, while the fracture takes its time to heal.

Spondylosis

January 30th, 2012

What is Spondylosis?

Degeneration or wearing down of cartilage and bones in the spine is medically termed as spondylosis.

Types of Spondylosis

1. Cervical Spondylosis or degeneration in the neck;

2. Lumbar Spondylosis or degeneration in the lower back; and

3. Thoracic Spondylosis or degeneration in the middle section of the spine.

Causes of Spondylosis

1. Normal wear and tear as we age, which is why spondylosis is more common among 60+ people.

2. Spinal Stenosis, i.e. abnormal narrowing of the spinal canal.

3. Osteoarthritis of facet or spinal joints.

4. Degenerative Disc Disease, which is characterized by dehydration of disc leading to reduced or total loss of functionality

Symptoms of Spondylosis

1. Spinal pain that may radiate to the limbs

2. Stiffness in back and neck

3. Pain in shoulders and arms

4. Headaches

5. Loss of sensation, numbness or tingling in shoulders, arms or legs

6. Loss of bladder control or bowel movements

7. Herniated disc

8. Muscle spasms

9. Sciatica pain

10. Muscle weakness in the limbs

*** Not all symptoms are usually present in every patient.

Treatment of Spondylosis

Spondylosis cannot be cured. Although it is not life threatening, yet it can only be managed. In many cases, the symptoms may subside on their own. Generally, the doctors prescribe pain relieving drugs and some lifestyle changes, including specific exercises and few physiotherapy sessions. Surgery is the last resort to prevent nerve or spinal damage.