Skin, Joint, and Back Problems Most Common Causes of Physician Visits

physicians visits for back painA new study from the Mayo Clinic reveals that almost a quarter of visits to physicians are related to back pain, with other major concerns including skin problems and joint disorders. More than 140,000 patients in Olmstead County, Minnesota, agreed to have their medical records including in the analysis as part of the Rochester Epidemiology Project and the results offer public health officials greater insight into how medical resources are being used and how patients with back pain from spinal stenosis may be better cared for. Continue reading “Skin, Joint, and Back Problems Most Common Causes of Physician Visits” »


Spinal Stenosis and Leg Cramps

leg cramps and spinal stenosis

Spinal stenosis and pinched nerves are just one cause of leg cramps.

Spinal stenosis describes a condition of narrowing in the spine and this narrowing can result in spinal nerves becoming pinched or trapped. As a consequence of spinal stenosis, leg cramps may arise because the nerves controlling the muscles in the legs may be compressed as the spinal spaces narrow. Solving the riddle of nocturnal leg cramps may then involve an MRI of the spine. Continue reading “Spinal Stenosis and Leg Cramps” »


What to do Before and Immediately After You Consent to Slipped Disc Surgery

Slipped disc surgerySlipped disc surgery should never be agreed to without researching the potential side effects and risks. Surgery is almost always the last resort for someone suffering from debilitating pain and other symptoms associated with a slipped disc (or, more properly, a herniated disc). Of course, if you have begun to consider surgery to alleviate your symptoms, chances are you already have held several – perhaps many – conversations with your physician or back specialist about your options.

You might also have attempted to treat your symptoms with a wide variety of conservative, nonsurgical treatment methods, only to find that your symptoms remain debilitating and your quality of life continues to deteriorate. At this point, it is certainly reasonable to begin your research into slipped disc surgery.

Continue reading “What to do Before and Immediately After You Consent to Slipped Disc Surgery” »

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Back Pain Worsened by Smoking

smoking and back pain relief

Significant back pain relief can be had, just by quitting smoking.

One of the best pain relief options for back pain patients is to quit smoking, according to the findings published in the December issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery. Patients with spinal disorders, such as spinal stenosis, who quit smoking may experience substantial improvements in back pain, as well as being more likely to have a successful outcome from back surgery should that be scheduled. Continue reading “Back Pain Worsened by Smoking” »


A Biomarker for Chronic Pain – Could False Compensation Claims be About to End?

chronic-back-pain-predicted-by-brain-scans stanford

Brain imaging could aid diagnosis of chronic lower back pain but is not, yet, ready for prime-time.

Stanford University researchers have developed an objective way of diagnosing chronic pain which could help distinguish ‘real’ patients from those faking a condition for compensation. The hope is also that the biomarker for chronic lower back pain will lead to improved monitoring of pain management successes and more effective pain relief in conditions such as spinal stenosis. Sean Mackey, MD, PhD, chief, Division of Pain Management, and professor of anaesthesiology at Stanford, worked with colleagues to develop computer algorithms that predicted the presence of chronic lower back pain with a 76% accuracy. Continue reading “A Biomarker for Chronic Pain – Could False Compensation Claims be About to End?” »