Spine Lumbar

I have been to three well-known pain clinics for my chronic back and leg pain. Everyone is very nice, and they all seem very certain they know what's wrong with me. But nothing they do for me has helped. I've had lots of tests. Sometimes the same ones repeated. Isn't there one simple way to tell what's wrong? How can it be so difficult?

Pain is a very complex event in the body. And chronic pain (pain that lasts past the usual time for healing) is an even more confounding mystery. Many, many scientists are studying ways to define it, describe it, diagnose the cause, and find ways to treat it fast and effectively. So far, there are no magic bullets.




Treatment for Low Back Pain: Does Lack of Evidence Mean It Doesn't Work?

Some new and important discoveries are being made about low back pain. For example, it used to be said over and over that eight out of 10 people would suffer a bout of back pain at least once in their lifetime. That's still true. But the next part of the story may not be so true.




Evidence-Based Approach to Back Pain

People in pain don't want a trial-and-error approach to treatment. They need an evidence-based treatment plan that is going to work right from the start. One way to achieve this is by identifying subtypes of pain -- in other words, what's nerve-related (neuropathic) and what's not? No sense treating pain with an approach that doesn't even get at the underlying pain mechanisms. We know that can be a waste of time and money.




My physical therapist says I have buttock pain from piriformis syndrome. My doctor says there's no such thing. Which is it?

Piriformis syndrome: what is it? How do you get it? How do you know you have it? How do you get rid of it? What else do you need to know? That's the substance of a recent review article written by two well-known and well-respected physical therapists on the subject of piriformis syndrome.




Somehow I developed a pain in the butt they call piriformis syndrome. I can't figure out how I got it. How do other people get this problem?

Piriformis syndrome is an irriation of the sciatic nerve as it passes next to or through the piriformis muscle. The piriformis muscle is a flat, pyramid-shape structure. It starts along the anterior (front) part of the sacrum and inserts or attaches on the greater trochanter of the femur. That's a bony bump at the top of the upper thigh bone.




Piriformis Syndrome: What To Do?

Piriformis syndrome: what is it? How do you get it? How do you know you have it? How do you get rid of it? What else do you need to know? That's the substance of this review article written by two well-known and well-respected physical therapists on the subject of piriformis syndrome.




The Value of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

The value of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery (MISS) is more than surgeon assumption or a marketing whim. That sounds very poetic, but what does it mean exactly? The author answers that question in this review article on the topic of minimally invasive spine surgery.




A Review of Available Interspinous Spacers

In this article, two neurosurgeons bring us up-to-date on the use of four different interspinous spacers for the treatment of back pain from spinal stenosis. Interspinous means the spacers are placed between two spinous processes. Those are the bumps you feel along your back. They are knobs of bone that extend out from the vertebral bodies.




Replace or Regenerate Degenerated Disc Material: The Race is On

Stem cell research continues to make the front-page news from time to time. Many scientists are convinced that the results of aging-related degeneration of the spine can be altered. For example, the breakdown of disc material between the vertebral bones could be repaired by regenerating discs with stem cells.




Taking a Look at Cervical Disc Replacement: The Big Picture

When a new treatment like disc replacement comes along, it takes a while before it's clear who should have this surgery. So patient selection is extremely important. At first, it's just a limited group of patients who qualify for the procedure. That's okay because surgeons want the best results for their patients.




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