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Epidural Steroid Injections Increase Spinal Fracture Risk

epidural steroid injections and spinal fracture riskEpidural injections for back pain may increase the risk of spinal fracture according to a new analysis of over fifty thousand patients. Just one lumbar epidural steroid injection used for lower back pain from conditions such as spinal stenosis increased the likelihood of spinal fracture by more than a fifth (21%), providing the first hard evidence of what has long been suspected by physicians and orthopedic surgeons: epidural steroids weaken the bones. Continue reading “Epidural Steroid Injections Increase Spinal Fracture Risk” »

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Using Music for Pain Relief: Could Brahms be a Balm to Your Back Pain?

music therapy with harp for back pain

Could music therapy help with back pain relief? (C. Harp Therapy International.)

Pain management in chronic conditions like symptomatic spinal stenosis may involve patients taking pill after pill, day after day, knowing all too well the side effects possible with such drugs. What if the right kind of music could help dull the pain without making patients drowsy, nauseous, or at risk of liver failure or heart disease? A new study suggests that music therapy could be a low cost, low risk, non pharmacologic aid for those with pain so would you choose some calming Chopin or a balm from Brahms to manage your chronic back pain? Continue reading “Using Music for Pain Relief: Could Brahms be a Balm to Your Back Pain?” »

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Why the Cause of Your Spinal Stenosis Affects the Type of Treatment You’ll Need

Spinal Stenosis Causes and TreatmentSpinal stenosis causes and treatment are, naturally, inextricably linked. Just as there are many reasons why you might develop stenosis, or “narrowing,” within the nerve channels of the spine (spinal canal, intervertebral foramina), there are numerous ways to treat any symptoms that might arise as a result of spinal stenosis.

Before a physician even considers how to treat the pain, tingling, numbness, or muscle weakness often associated with spinal stenosis-related nerve compression, it helps if he or she knows what is causing the stenosis. Continue reading “Why the Cause of Your Spinal Stenosis Affects the Type of Treatment You’ll Need” »

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What to Expect After a Spinal Stenosis Diagnosis

Spinal Stenosis DiagnosisThe first reaction once you have received a spinal stenosis diagnosis from your physician or spine specialist might just be: “I have what, now?” That’s understandable, because “stenosis” is not a word you hear every day. Or, really, ever – unless you are among the unfortunate few who develop debilitating back or neck pain from this condition. Spinal stenosis, as you are likely to know by now if you have found this post, is a narrowing of the nerve channels within the spine. That means the spinal canal or the openings (foramina) where nerve roots pass to and from the spinal cord have become constricted either because of a degenerative spine condition or some other cause.

If you suspect that you might have this problem, or if you have already received your diagnosis, read on for details about what to expect moving forward. Continue reading “What to Expect After a Spinal Stenosis Diagnosis” »

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Considering Herniated Disc Surgery? Make Sure You’ve Done This Before Giving Consent.

Herniated Disc SurgeryBefore consenting to herniated disc surgery, almost every patient suffering from the effects of this degenerative condition should create a checklist of items to consider. In most cases, spine surgery for a herniated disc is considered an elective procedure, which means unless there is a life-threatening condition or a spine specialist considers it a matter of urgency, most people can afford to give the decision and supporting research the time they deserve. Continue reading “Considering Herniated Disc Surgery? Make Sure You’ve Done This Before Giving Consent.” »

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Bromelain for Back Pain Relief – Does it Work? Is it Safe?

bromelain for back pain pineapple

Could bromelain enzymes from pineapple really help relieve back pain?

Lower back pain is felt by some 60-80% of the population during their lifetime and is one of the most common reasons for visits to the physician. Natural back pain remedies are, understandably, pretty popular considering the raft of adverse effects known to be a potential risk with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs but are these natural back pain ‘cures’ actually any safer?

With around 30% of people thought to use natural remedies for osteoarthritis (Tsui et al., 2012), isn’t it time we looked a little more closely at what’s available? For instance, does it make sense to use bromelain for back pain? Just how effective and safe is this NSAID alternative? Continue reading “Bromelain for Back Pain Relief – Does it Work? Is it Safe?” »