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What is Osteopathic Manual Therapy for Low Back Pain? Does it work?

osteopathic manual therapy for low back pain relief effectiveA new study published this month suggests that osteopathic manual therapy for low back pain offers significant benefit to patients but what is OMT and why is it helpful? To understand the potential of osteopathic manual therapy it is important to first appreciate how this field of medicine came about, starting with the actual meaning of ‘osteopathic.’ The origin of this word is two Greek words, ‘osteone’ meaning structure and ‘pathos’ meaning pain. Together the term connotes a natural medicine that looks at how anatomy and physiology, the structure and function of the body, are interrelated and the cause of spinal stenosis, low back pain and other ailments. Continue reading “What is Osteopathic Manual Therapy for Low Back Pain? Does it work?” »

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How Degenerative Disc Disease and Spinal Stenosis are Related

Degenerative disc diseaseThere are many different terms for spine conditions, from degenerative disc disease and sciatica to spondylolisthesis and more. Pronouncing the terms can be difficult enough, let alone understanding how a specific condition could affect your neck or back. The thing to keep in mind is that, in general, most spine conditions are related to each other in some way because the development of these conditions has a cascading effect. For example, one anatomical change in the spine – which usually occurs as a result of age-related degeneration – often leads to another anatomical change. To better understand how some spine conditions are interrelated in this way, it can be helpful to briefly review the spinal anatomy.


Continue reading “How Degenerative Disc Disease and Spinal Stenosis are Related” »

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How to Identify Symptoms of Canal Stenosis

Canal stenosisIt can be difficult to diagnose spine conditions like canal stenosis because the symptoms associated with this and the several other common degenerative neck and back conditions can be similar. Just because you’re feeling pain in your lower back, buttocks, and upper leg won’t necessarily mean your physician will be able to pinpoint the exact cause of your pain as spinal canal stenosis without first running an array of tests. Continue reading “How to Identify Symptoms of Canal Stenosis” »

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Symptoms of Cervical Stenosis from Kyphosis

cervical kyphosis and spinal stenosis

Whiplash and sports injuries can trigger cervical kyphosis and spinal stenosis symptoms.

Cervical spinal stenosis can be a result of kyphosis in the neck, but what is kyphosis? This peculiar term simply describes a c-shaped spinal curve where the opening of that ‘c’ is at the front of the body. In contrast to kyphosis, lordosis means a c-shaped curve with the opening at the back. The spine naturally has both types of curves but problems arise when this curvature becomes too extreme or where a kyphotic curve or lordotic curve arises in the wrong place. This can cause lumbar spinal stenosis, or stenosis in the cervical or thoracic spinal regions, creating symptoms connected to pinched nerves. Continue reading “Symptoms of Cervical Stenosis from Kyphosis” »

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Back Pain – Is it Spinal Cancer? How Red Flags May be Misleading

spinal cancer red flags spinal stenosis

Low back pain may be due to a spinal tumor but do red flags really help doctors diagnose the condition?

According to a new review, the ‘red flags’ for spinal cancer that physicians rely on to prompt further investigation of a patient’s low back pain are not all that helpful; only one such sign appears sufficiently predictive of the condition.

Cancerous growths in the spine can cause spinal stenosis, pinched nerves and spinal cord compression as well as making the bones more fracture-prone, all of which can lead to back pain. Without reliable red flags how can doctors know when to refer patients for further testing? Are patients at risk of their spinal cancer being missed and becoming untreatable? Continue reading “Back Pain – Is it Spinal Cancer? How Red Flags May be Misleading” »

Prescription Painkiller Overdoses A Growing Problem

prescription painkiller overdoses and back painA CNN documentary aired late last year reported that someone in the US dies every 19 minutes from a drug overdose, with the majority of those deaths due to accidental overdose on legal and prescribed drugs such as the painkillers used by millions of spinal stenosis patients daily. These overdoses accunt for more deaths than do heroin, crack cocaine, and methamphetamines combined and accidental prescription overdoses kill more Americans each year than car crashes. With almost half a million emergency room visits each year in the US due to precription painkiller misuse, what is being done to stop these preventable fatalities? Continue reading “Prescription Painkiller Overdoses A Growing Problem” »