Archive for February 2010

Stenosis – Back Pain Test

Stenosis back pain originates in the spinal canal itself. Stenosis occurs when the spinal canal narrows, and compresses the nerves inside it. This compression of the nerves can lead to stenosis back pain, numbness in the legs, and the loss of bladder or bowel control. If left untreated, stenosis back pain can eventually become paralysis.

It is estimated that approximately 400,000 Americans currently have spinal stenosis back pain. That number is expected to increase as Baby Boomers age.

Defining Stenosis Back Pain

You probably know that the spinal column protects your spinal cord, a bundle of nerves, from being injured. In spinal stenosis, the spine narrows in one or more of three places: space at the center of the spine; canals where nerves branch outward from the spine itself; a space between the spine’s bones (vertebrae).

Stenosis back pain occurs when the narrowing puts pressure on the nerves inside the spinal column. Although this can occur in younger people, it is most often a complaint of those over 50 years of age.

Causes of Stenosis Back Pain

Spinal stenosis back pain can be caused by a number of factors.

1. Age is a primary factor. As we age, bands of supportive tissue in the spine may harden and thicken. Our bones and joints may enlarge as they age. We may get bone spurs on the spine – places where bone surfaces bulge outward.

2. Arthritis is another cause of spinal stenosis and accompanying stenosis back pain. Either osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis may be to blame. Osteoarthritis is the more common of the two. This type of arthritis usually is seen in middle-aged and older people, and does not go away. Osteoarthritis can cause the bone spurs described above. Rheumatoid arthritis is usually seen in younger people, and is not usually a cause of spinal stenosis back pain.

3. Inherited factors may also lead to stenosis and stenosis back pain. Some genetic conditions, such as a small spinal canal or curved spine, can cause spinal stenosis.

4. Other causes for your stenosis back pain could include calcium deposits, fluoride accumulation, or injuries.

Symptoms of Stenosis Back Pain

Stenosis back pain usually occurs in the neck or back. In addition to the stenosis back pain, you may feel pain down one leg, or numbness, weakness, cramping, and pain in legs or arms as the nerves are compressed.

Stenosis Back Pain Test Problem

The problem with tests for spinal stenosis is that the conditions shares symptoms with so many other disease. The result has too often been costly misdiagnoses and unnecessary back surgery, according to Andrew Haig, M.D., associate professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Michigan Medical School.

The following 3 tests are used to diagnose the cause of stenosis back pain.

1. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) -radio waves to picture the spine

2. Computerized axial tomography (CAT) – X-ray series to picture the spine

3. Electromyogram (EMG)- a test that not only gives a picture of nerves, but also tests nerve function, showing if there is actual nerve damage

Best Stenosis Back Pain Test

Of the three, the oldest, Electromyogram (EMG) has been found to be the best. This test has been around as long as, or longer than the Baby Boomers themselves, but a study published in the January 2006 issue of “Spine” shows that it is by far the best of the three tests.

That study, done by the University of Michigan Health System, shows that the EMG test accurately determines the cause of stenosis back pain. As a result, low back pain is less likely to be misdiagnosed, as are other common neuromuscular conditions with similar symptoms. Back surgery undertaken to cure misdiagnosed stenosis back pain can be avoided with this stenosis back pain test.

Tests done in the U of M study by Dr. Andrew Haig and his colleagues showed a substantial difference between those who have spinal stenosis and those with other types of back pain. It showed that use of the EMG allows experts to clearly distinguish between spinal stenosis and low back pain.

“Most doctors think of EMG as a simple test and incorrectly believe that it is sensitive for nerve damage, but cannot differentiate spinal stenosis form neuromuscular disease,” explains Haig. “But as this study shows, that’s not the case. In fact, EMG is an excellent test for spinal stenosis and other neuromuscular disorders using strict evidence-based criteria.” (Spine, Vol. 30, No. 23)

Anna Hart
http://www.articlesbase.com/medicine-articles/stenosis-back-pain-test-122606.html

Stenosis – Back Pain Test

Stenosis back pain originates in the spinal canal itself. Stenosis occurs when the spinal canal narrows, and compresses the nerves inside it. This compression of the nerves can lead to stenosis back pain, numbness in the legs, and the loss of bladder or bowel control. If left untreated, stenosis back pain can eventually become paralysis.

It is estimated that approximately 400,000 Americans currently have spinal stenosis back pain. That number is expected to increase as Baby Boomers age.

Defining Stenosis Back Pain

You probably know that the spinal column protects your spinal cord, a bundle of nerves, from being injured. In spinal stenosis, the spine narrows in one or more of three places: space at the center of the spine; canals where nerves branch outward from the spine itself; a space between the spine’s bones (vertebrae).

Stenosis back pain occurs when the narrowing puts pressure on the nerves inside the spinal column. Although this can occur in younger people, it is most often a complaint of those over 50 years of age.

Causes of Stenosis Back Pain

Spinal stenosis back pain can be caused by a number of factors.

1. Age is a primary factor. As we age, bands of supportive tissue in the spine may harden and thicken. Our bones and joints may enlarge as they age. We may get bone spurs on the spine – places where bone surfaces bulge outward.

2. Arthritis is another cause of spinal stenosis and accompanying stenosis back pain. Either osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis may be to blame. Osteoarthritis is the more common of the two. This type of arthritis usually is seen in middle-aged and older people, and does not go away. Osteoarthritis can cause the bone spurs described above. Rheumatoid arthritis is usually seen in younger people, and is not usually a cause of spinal stenosis back pain.

3. Inherited factors may also lead to stenosis and stenosis back pain. Some genetic conditions, such as a small spinal canal or curved spine, can cause spinal stenosis.

4. Other causes for your stenosis back pain could include calcium deposits, fluoride accumulation, or injuries.

Symptoms of Stenosis Back Pain

Stenosis back pain usually occurs in the neck or back. In addition to the stenosis back pain, you may feel pain down one leg, or numbness, weakness, cramping, and pain in legs or arms as the nerves are compressed.

Stenosis Back Pain Test Problem

The problem with tests for spinal stenosis is that the conditions shares symptoms with so many other disease. The result has too often been costly misdiagnoses and unnecessary back surgery, according to Andrew Haig, M.D., associate professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Michigan Medical School.

The following 3 tests are used to diagnose the cause of stenosis back pain.

1. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) -radio waves to picture the spine

2. Computerized axial tomography (CAT) – X-ray series to picture the spine

3. Electromyogram (EMG)- a test that not only gives a picture of nerves, but also tests nerve function, showing if there is actual nerve damage

Best Stenosis Back Pain Test

Of the three, the oldest, Electromyogram (EMG) has been found to be the best. This test has been around as long as, or longer than the Baby Boomers themselves, but a study published in the January 2006 issue of “Spine” shows that it is by far the best of the three tests.

That study, done by the University of Michigan Health System, shows that the EMG test accurately determines the cause of stenosis back pain. As a result, low back pain is less likely to be misdiagnosed, as are other common neuromuscular conditions with similar symptoms. Back surgery undertaken to cure misdiagnosed stenosis back pain can be avoided with this stenosis back pain test.

Tests done in the U of M study by Dr. Andrew Haig and his colleagues showed a substantial difference between those who have spinal stenosis and those with other types of back pain. It showed that use of the EMG allows experts to clearly distinguish between spinal stenosis and low back pain.

“Most doctors think of EMG as a simple test and incorrectly believe that it is sensitive for nerve damage, but cannot differentiate spinal stenosis form neuromuscular disease,” explains Haig. “But as this study shows, that’s not the case. In fact, EMG is an excellent test for spinal stenosis and other neuromuscular disorders using strict evidence-based criteria.” (Spine, Vol. 30, No. 23)

Anna Hart
http://www.articlesbase.com/medicine-articles/stenosis-back-pain-test-122606.html

Lose the Back Pain

http://lose-backpain.blogspot.com/

And countless more get ulcer perforation … gastrointestinal bleeding … and other side effects. Muscle-Relaxants do work to get rid of pain because they relax your muscles enough so they return to a more neutral and balanced position.

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Back Pain Exercises To Strengthen Lower Back

If you were to have legal access to the records of every general practitioner across the United States, you would find that lower back pain is one of the most common reasons for visits to physicians. Studies show that about 60 percent of reported pain problems in the U.S. are lower back pain. Most such pain is relieved with treatment as conservative as over-the-pain medication.

Ask a physician for advice on the best treatment, and you will likely be told, “You need back pain exercises to strengthen lower back muscles.”

What Kind of Back Exercise?

Stretching and strengthening back exercise is usually recommended. Hip rotations, rump lifts, and thigh pulls will stretch you back muscles. Alternate superman exercises, along with things such as “slippery heels’, “high heels”, and “brake pedals” will strengthen your back.

Instructions for these exercises are available from your therapist or online, and no equipment is necessary for performing them.

At the Gym

Our body’s cores are often neglected, and need a program of regular back exercises to strengthen lower back muscles. We work on the front of the body, slimming, trimming, and building abdominal muscles, but we neglect the back. We use exercises to strengthen arm and leg muscles, but forget the back.

When you work out at the gym or health club, check how much time you spend working on abdominal muscle groups. Now schedule identical time for back exercise.

If your gym has a hyperextension table or bench, by all means use it regularly.

In Your Home

The back is vital to standing and sitting upright, and worth investment, if needed. You do not have to invest money, of course, but you may choose to invest in one or more of these four basic tools.

1. Exercise mat. A simple exercise mat is often all you need to keep yourself faithful to a regimen of back pain exercises to strengthen lower back muscles. Very inexpensive exercise mats are available in the sporting goods department of discount “box” stores. Cover your exercise mat with a towel to keep it clean, and throw the towel in your wash as needed.

2. Exercise ball. An exercise ball is also called a physio ball or a Swiss ball. They are available in fitness stores, sporting goods stores, and online. Exercise balls are a cost-effective solution for such things as balance, cardiovascular fitness, coordination, flexibility, neuromotor training, and strength. They can help you do several back exercises.

The exercise ball is a conservative treatment option for back pain sufferers. It will not only treat current pain, but will go far toward preventing future episodes of low back pain.

3. Roman chair. A roman chair is a type of hypertension bench. They are found in many health clubs or gyms, but investing in your own may keep you more faithful in doing vital back exercise.

Roman chairs do not look like chairs, and users are more likely to be on their stomachs than on their backs in roman chairs. They are great for back exercise, though. They are especially helpful for extension exercises, one of a number of effective back pain exercises to strengthen lower back muscles.

A roman chair should have a traction foot plate to help you position yourself securely while using it. For beginners, a 45 degree exercise angle will make it easier to perform back extension exercises. This will mean a less intense workout for you.

4. If you are determined to work your “abs” – and have a little more to spend on back exercise equipment, an “Ab and back machine” will give you the balance you need. An ab and back machine will place your body in the seated position, which is the most comfortable and safe position for back exercise coupled with ab exercise. Used straight forward, this machine will tighten and tone your abs, obliques and midsection. Rotate the action arm, and the machine provides back exercise.

All back exercise should be done in moderation, and any increases in repetitions should be gradual. This is not a competition, but a means of strengthening your back. If you rush back exercise, or overdo it, you may cause more problems than you had.

Remember, before starting a program of back exercise, consult a physician. There may be underlying physical conditions, such as hernias, that you would worsen by stressing muscles. In addition, medical problems such as coronary disease or diabetes may require your physician’s specific observation.

Anna Hart
http://www.articlesbase.com/medicine-articles/back-pain-exercises-to-strengthen-lower-back-119945.html