Spine FAQs

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I've been having low back pain off and on for years. The last two years have been the worst. I've been seeing a chiropractor who adjusts my low back for me. The X-rays taken as part of my evaluation show significant degeneration of the lumbar spine. I'm just wondering if it wouldn't be worth it to have some better imaging studies done. Would MRIs or CT scans provide us with a better idea of what's going on down there?10 years 7 weeks ago1545
My wife just had the new multidetector CT scan done on her spine. They found plenty of arthritis in her spine to explain her low back pain. But the radiologist seemed to poo poo the idea that those changes were really the cause of her pain. I don't get that. Why would he say it doesn't have anything to do with her symptoms?10 years 7 weeks ago1523
What's the difference between acupuncture and trigger point therapy? I've had both for chronic neck and back pain. I can't see that they are any different in how the treatment is done or the effects.10 years 7 weeks ago2555
My sister has chronic headaches that seem to be connected with neck and shoulder muscle tension. She's going to try something called trigger point injections. What are these? How do they work?10 years 7 weeks ago1751
With so many risks involved with neck surgery, is it really worth it to go under the knife if your problem isn't life threatening?10 years 7 weeks ago1987
My father had degeneration of his lower back discs and he had surgery called arthroplasty. I believe it is replacing the discs. My mother has the same problem just below her neck and her doctor says he can't do the same type of surgery. Why not?10 years 7 weeks ago1857
If someone has pressure on the nerves in the spine, can they be permanently damaged?10 years 7 weeks ago2180
My wife recently had severe back pain about a month after being in a car accident. She also began losing control over her bladder and was wetting herself. Her doctor said that it was a syndrome called cauda equina and that surgery was urgent and had to be done right away, but now, a month later, she's still wetting herself and she still has pain. What was the point of the surgery?10 years 7 weeks ago1645
I saw someone the other day who had one of those metal rings on her head with pins. Is that thing actually screwed to her head? That thing looks heavy.10 years 9 weeks ago1851
About six months ago, I had surgery to remove a tumor in my sacral bone. This morning, I was bending over and I felt and heard a pop. I don't have any pain or further loss of motion. But I'm pretty nervous I might have broken something in there. I know I have plates and screws holding everything together. Should I call the doctor right away or wait-and-see before hitting the panic button?10 years 9 weeks ago3131
Mom had a sacral tumor removed that involved taking a lot of the soft tissues around the bone along with half of the sacral bone. She ended up with a bad infection. The home health nurse keeps talking to us about nutrition. I'm not sure why she focuses on that instead of getting rid of the infection. She's pretty skinny herself, so maybe she's got an eating disorder. How can I tell her to bug off in a nice way?10 years 9 weeks ago2910
I've been seeing an osteopathic physician for the last six months for chronic low back pain. She wants me to see a physical therapist now and maybe even an acupuncturist. I'm wondering if she's run out of ideas to help me. Should I find another doctor?10 years 10 weeks ago1416
I'm totally panicked. I just came back from a car accident that was my fault. I hit the other car head on. Fortunately, I wasn't going very fast. I'm worried the lady in the car will get a whiplash injury and sue me. Is there any chance that front-end collisions cause less injuries than rear-end fender benders?10 years 10 weeks ago1834
They say not everyone who has a car accident gets a whiplash injury. But it's my dumb luck to be one of them. I'm not an overly emotional or hysterical person. I usually heal quickly after a cut or other minor injury. So how come, after six months, I still have headaches, neck pain, and jaw pain from the accident? Why me?10 years 10 weeks ago1852
I'm so discouraged. I hurt my back a week ago and it's not getting any better. Am I going to become one of those people who is always complaining about a sore back now?10 years 10 weeks ago1527
I hurt my back over a year ago and my doctor said I'd be fit to go back to work in a month or two if my boss changed my job for a while. I don't want to ask that because he might just fire me. Is changing jobs really going to make a difference in the long run?10 years 10 weeks ago1597
What should I ask a doctor if I'm trying to find out more about him and his ability to do surgery on my back?10 years 10 weeks ago1828
I'm confused. I have a slipped disc in my back and I don't know if I want to have surgery. What are the risks of back surgery?10 years 10 weeks ago1960
My mother has spinal stenosis and her doctor wants to operate. I am against it because I know that if anything happens to her back in surgery, she may be worse off than she was before. What should I say to her?10 years 10 weeks ago1824
Ok, they can do hip, knee, shoulder replacements. If someone has severe back pain because the vertebrae can't hold up any longer, why can't they do vertebrae replacements?10 years 10 weeks ago1883
My father never hurt his back in his life, he was active and healthy. Now, his doctor is telling him that his severe back pain is being caused by dying discs. What does that mean?10 years 10 weeks ago1514
My sister is a physical therapist. She's been helping me after my recent surgery to fuse two bones in my neck. She says I don't really need the neck brace I was given, but it scares me to go without it. Is it safe to go without it now?10 years 11 weeks ago1704
On the basis of a few questions he asked me, my doctor thinks I should see a counselor to help me deal with my back pain and depression. He thinks the two are linked together and the only way I can lick one is to work on both areas at the same time. I don't see the connection myself. Is there any way to research this on my own?10 years 11 weeks ago1556
Our 32-year-old daughter is pregnant on bedrest because of a bulging disc. There is some concern that if she doesn't have surgery to remove the disc, she could end up paralyzed. Is it really safe to do this type of operation on a pregnant woman?10 years 11 weeks ago2050
What is a cauda equina problem?10 years 11 weeks ago2182
I've been having some neck pain, and I can't turn my head all the way to the left to match how far I can go on the right. My physical therapist assures me that this will all clear up with a few treatments. I'm worried there's more to it than that. What if there's a tumor on one side or some kind of blockage?10 years 11 weeks ago2216
My mother has to have surgery for her back as it's really deformed (hunched). What types of complications are possible for this type of back surgery?10 years 11 weeks ago1765
My mother has very bad arthritis in her spine. She now has a very hunched back and can't look up straight. She's embarrassed to go out. Is there anything she can do?10 years 11 weeks ago3829
I wanted to get a disc replacement for a bad disc at L45, but the surgeon said that I was too old, too fat, and too retired. Well, he didn't put it quite that way, but that was the take home message I got. So, who can get one of these new discs?10 years 12 weeks ago1772
My surgeon has approved me for surgery to replace a disc at the L45 level. I'm planning to work right up until the day of surgery. My wife is concerned that I should take a break from work and rest before the operation. Does it matter either way?10 years 12 weeks ago1453

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