Archive for April 2012

Insider Secrets to Find the Cause of Your Back Pain Now

During my 17 years practicing medicine, patients and friends constantly ask me:

“What is the most likely cause of my back pain?”

I’ve written this simple guide for people who have the same question in mind.

The commonest type of back pain is caused by tears or strains to ligaments, tendons or muscles around the lower spinal cord. The underlying factors are straining, poor posture, incorrect lifting and inactivity. The pain usually appears 36-48 hours after the strain or can be gradual in onset. The symptoms can be mild to moderate depending on the level of injury.

Herniation of a vertebral disc may be associated with back pain and also sciatica…shooting pain down the back of one leg. It is most often seen in people in their 30’s and 40’s but can also occur in the elderly. The condition is caused by underlying disc degeneration. This can lead to a gradual rupturing of the disc and Herniation of the disc contents. This process can be exacerbated by physical straining or exercise. The sciatica occurs when the disc contents press on the neighboring spinal nerve. The pain, which can be very severe, may be associated with numbness or tingling in the area supplied by that nerve (dermatome).

Facet Joint Arthropathy can result from arthritic changes, degeneration or trauma to the facet joints of the vertebral bodies of the spine. These joints are normally covered with cartilage and lined by synovial membranes. Arthritis leads to wear and tear of the cartilage and inflammation of the membranes. This leads to grating movements between the two facet joints. This type of back pain is worsened by torsion or elongation of the spine. The pain is normally well localized and may spread to the buttocks.

Narrowing of the spinal canal (Spinal Stenosis) is more commonly seen in the elderly. It is secondary to vertebral degeneration. It may also occur with infection, trauma, tumors and arthritis of the spine and with bony spurs and disk herniation. It can progress to severe spinal cord injury. It is associated with back pain as well as pain, numbness and weakness of the buttocks.

Radiculopathy (‘a pinched nerve’) is associated with back pain and pain, numbness, weakness and tingling of the legs. It occurs when inflammation of a spinal nerve is caused by pressure or friction. The underlying factors can be tumors, bony spurs, disc herniation, and fractures of the vertebrae. The presence of muscle weakness in the legs as well as pain in the back… indicates severe symptoms. In such cases you should seek a doctor’s advice immediately.

Tumors of the spine, whether they originate in the spine or spread from distant organs, can cause terrible back pain through pressure on the nerves and spine. Chronic persistent pain despite treatment is suggestive although not diagnostic of a spinal tumor. Be suspicious when such pain is associated with generalized signs of cancer such as weight loss, loss of appetite and tiredness.

Infection of the spinal cord or surrounding tissues causes pressure on the spine and can result in severe back pain and loss of function of the affected spinal nerves. Examples include spinal meningitis and osteomyelitis.

Pathology of the vertebrae of the spine can cause pressure on the spinal nerves, inflammatory conditions and degeneration. Examples include osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and ankylosing spondylitis. Ankylosing spondylitis is characterized by pain in the back and stiffness. This stiffness is more pronounced in the morning as is not helped by rest. There may also be pain in the shoulders, neck and mid-spine. Osteoporosis ( low bone mass) leads to fractures. Fractures cause sudden severe back pain localized to the area of the fracture. Osteoarthritis, the wear and tear of joints with age, leads to chronic back pain which tends to be poorly localized. It is normally associated with stiffness and pain which is not eased by rest.


Taping for Spinal Disc Herniation

Neuromuscular therapist Sam Visnic shows you a special technique to assist in reducing spinal disc herniation pain. This technique is particularly useful prior to performing disc herniation exercises.

Duration : 0:4:54

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Back Pain Tips, Stretches to Relieve Aches and Sore Muscles by Catz Austin Physical Therapy

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Back Pain Tips, Stretches to Relieve Aches and Sore Muscles by Catz Austin Physical Therapy

In this free video, physical therapist, Christie Powell, give you simple stretches to relieve back pain, aches in the neck, shoulders and even lower back. Poor posture can cause a myriad of different ailments, discomfort and even sciatica or carpal tunnel symptoms.

Poor posture and a slouched, slumped back can contribute to a wealth of physical dysfunction and pain in the back, hips, butt, thighs, legs, arms, shoulders, neck, hands, and well… you get the idea. In this video, Christie Powell, head of physical therapy at Catz Austin, explains how poor posture can cause low back pain and other issues like carpal tunnel and sciatica.

Often when we are sitting at the computer, watching TV or movies, playing video games, and driving, we slump into poor posture and a curved spine. This exerts pressure throughout the entire body and over time will severely weaken the shoulders and back so that sitting correctly becomes uncomfortable. The only way to improve posture is to begin changing your habits and to try and get in the habit of reminding yourself to sit up straight. A posture-buddy at work is a great idea so you can keep reminding each other, or you can set a timer or alarm on your desk.

Christie received her Masters from Texas State University and is currently pursuing her PhD in Kinesiology/Movement Science at the University of Texas. She is dedicated to working with youth and adult athletes and is involved in various programs to promote education and increase awareness of athletic injuries.

Visit Christie on the CatzAustin website:

This video was produced by Psychetruth

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Duration : 0:5:55

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Yoga specialist Allannah shows you a series of postures to relieve middle back pain and thoracic scoliosis. Great for Improving your posture!
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Duration : 0:10:1

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