Spinal Stenosis from Car Accidents

spinal stenosis car accidentSpinal stenosis can result from illness, injury, and general wear and tear but every year people suffering car accidents develop spinal stenosis symptoms without even realizing that the health of their spine was already compromised. Smoking, dehydration, other inflammatory conditions, nutrient deficiencies, and even repetitive microtrauma can all cause the cervical spine to suffer more extensive damage upon acute injury demonstrating the importance of keeping your spine healthy at all times. Slippy black ice due to the current wintery weather can have you spinning out of control in your car leading to an accident, whiplash, and cervical spinal damage causing spinal stenosis and neck pain. Find out more about spinal stenosis and car accidents and what could help reduce your risks. Continue reading “Spinal Stenosis from Car Accidents” »

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Sciatica Treatment – Adalimumab Delays Surgery

adalimumab sciatica treatmentA three-year study on pain relief for sciatica has found that adalimumab may help delay surgical discectomy in those treated, despite there being little difference in leg and back pain between the treated group and those receiving placebo medication. The randomized study, which took place in Geneva, Switzerland, looked at sixty-one patients suffering from severe acute sciatica and followed the progress of fifty-six of those for three years after randomization. Of the fifty-six, 41% had back surgery during that time, although the adalimumab group had a 28% rate of surgery compared to 56% of those receiving the placebo drug. There are concerns however that the trial focused on the wrong outcome and is too small to effectively demonstrate the use of adalimumab for sciatica treatment. Continue reading “Sciatica Treatment – Adalimumab Delays Surgery” »

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Acetaminophen Overdose and Chronic Back Pain Medications

acetaminophen toxicity spinal stenosis overdoseThose with spinal stenosis who use acetaminophen to dull the pain will want to take heed of new research showing that liver failure may result from repeated overuse of the analgesic. Known as Paracetamol in the UK and other parts of Europe, and Tylenol, Atasol, Panadol, or Triaminic in North America, acetaminophen overdoses are often simply associated with attempted suicide as a one-off massive overdose that can cause acute liver failure and death. Smaller, staggered overdoses from repeated overuse of the drug were found to increase the risks of liver and brain problems in patients, resulting in the need for kidney dialysis and respiratory assistance. These staggered overdose patients were at a higher risk of death compared to those using the drug in a suicide attempt. Chronic supratherapeutic use of acetaminophen for conditions such as arthritis, sciatica, and back pain from disc herniation and pinched nerves may occur accidentally as patients’ pain increases and they edge up their Tylenol dosage without noticing, presenting a challenge for physicians who may be unaware of the amount of pain medication their patients are taking to manage symptoms of spinal stenosis. Continue reading “Acetaminophen Overdose and Chronic Back Pain Medications” »

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Medical Leeches for Arthritis Pain

medical leech back pain treatmentThe use of leeches in medicine might seem medieval but research into medical leeches for arthritis pain might have some spinal stenosis sufferers scooping up these bloodsucking worms in place of current pain medication. Osteoarthritis pain relief is just the latest in recent treatments involving leeches, which the US Food and Drug Administration have approved as a medical device. Continue reading “Medical Leeches for Arthritis Pain” »

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Lower Back Pain Relief from Yoga

yoga back painA new study, published at the beginning of the month in the Annals of Internal Medicine reports that yoga is effective for lower back pain, adding to the evidence already supportive this non-surgical therapy for chronic back conditions. The study, carried out in the UK, looked at a three-month yoga program, with twelve sessions in total, to improve back function and relieve pain. Functional improvements were noted but the therapy did not seem to result in significant changes in pain or overall health although patients were more confident in managing pain and carrying out normal activities compared to the control group receiving standard care. Continue reading “Lower Back Pain Relief from Yoga” »

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Spinal Stenosis and Diet

spinal stenosis diet burger stack

Is your diet stacking up problems like spinal stenosis?

Chronic back pain from spinal stenosis is a major problem in the US and it may seem that there are as many back pain relief tips as there are sufferers. Diets for back pain from spinal stenosis may not be the ‘miracle cure’ we’re all looking for but dietary influences on inflammation, pain, hydration, and general health should not be underestimated, especially in a chronic condition like spinal stenosis.

Three-quarters of us experience back pain at some time or other and many resort to painkillers, NSAIDs, massage, yoga, non-surgical traction, chiropractic treatment, and even back surgery to resolve those aches and pains. In some cases it is clear that such interventions are necessary and desirable, but is it possible that by simply looking in your refrigerator and pantry you might find a key contributor to your swollen joints, painful back, and nerve pains? Continue reading “Spinal Stenosis and Diet” »

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Spinal Health Month and Spinal Stenosis Education

spinal health month spinal stenosis

Get to know your spine - October is Spinal Health Month

October was Spinal Health Month and spinal stenosis was on the agenda for many organizations who took the opportunity to raise awareness of the prevalence of back pain in modern life. Back pain is experienced by 80-90% of Americans at some time in their lives and may be a result of an acute injury, muscle strain, degeneration of the spine, muscles, ligaments, bones, or joints, or a consequence of disc herniation or bulging. Congenital diseases causing spinal stenosis and neurogenic claudication are also factors in back pain, leg pain, and weakness in the limbs in some patients and spotting the signs of spinal stenosis early may help postpone or prevent progression of the symptoms. Continue reading “Spinal Health Month and Spinal Stenosis Education” »

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Spinal Stenosis and Foot-Drop

spinal stenosis foot drop posture

Foot drop posture, a possible result of spinal stenosis.

Foot drop and spinal stenosis are often connected, although this association may be overlooked despite the possibility of serious accidents occurring as a result of the drop foot phenomenon. Patients usually feel like their foot is floppy and slaps against the ground when walking. The symptom usually suggests nerve damage, muscle damage, or some kind of structural abnormality affecting the foot and it is a condition affecting the patient’s ability to raise his or her foot at the ankle. Patients also have problems pointing the toes towards the body (dorsiflexion) or moving the ankle inward or outward. Some patients have accompanying pain in the ankle, weakness, and/or numbness, all of which can adversely affect walking ability and lead to trips and falls. Patients may develop a characteristic high-stepping walk (known as steppage gait or footdrop gait) which can alert physicians or physical therapists to the condition. Continue reading “Spinal Stenosis and Foot-Drop” »

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What is Kyphosis?

kyphosis what is
Curvature of the spine comes in a number of forms, cervical kyphosis, thoracic kyphosis, and other types of postural kyphosis as well as lordosis of the spine. The simplest kyphosis definition is a curving of the spine that creates a hunchback or slouching posture. Lordosis, in contrast, is the curving of the spine backward rather than forward and different portions of the spine have a naturally lordotic curve or kyphotic curve. It is the abnormal curvature of the spine which presents problems for patients, such as when kyphosis becomes pronounced or occurs in spinal segments that should instead have a lordotic curve. Spinal stenosis and kyphosis may occur together where the curvature is particularly advanced or where other factors, such as osteophytes or disc herniation are also present. Continue reading “What is Kyphosis?” »

Spinal Stenosis and Neurogenic Claudication

neurogenic claudication spinal stenosis

Neurogenic claudication as a result of spinal stenosis

Changes were made in late 2010 to the medical billing codes used for spinal stenosis and neurogenic claudication, with many of the new ICd-9 codes taking effect this month. At the request of Andelle Teng, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon working in Washington, the revised codes now include options to describe a patient with spinal stenosis with or without neurogenic claudication. Previously, there was just a single code and the important distinction between the two conditions was, therefore, lost. Continue reading “Spinal Stenosis and Neurogenic Claudication” »