Spine Lumbar FAQs

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I am a physical therapy student getting ready to put on an in-service for the clinic where I am training. I've chosen to do a case presentation on low back pain with radiculopathy. I'm finding many opinions about the use of the straight-leg raise test for patients with back pain. No one seems to agree on the best way to do this test. What can you tell me?10 years 20 weeks ago1680
I am a piano teacher with scoliosis. I sit for long hours each day. By the end of the day, I am more twisted than ever and suffer a lot of pain. I don't want major surgery with long rods to hold my spine straight. But I was looking through the magazines in the orthopedic surgeon's office. I saw a little metal plunger unit that is supposed to hold two of the spine bones together without doing a fusion procedure. Could they use something like this for me?9 years 33 weeks ago2148
I am a regular exerciser. I walk three miles five times a week. I lift weights three times a week. Even so, I hurt my back last month and still haven't gotten over it. I thought exercise was supposed to prevent back problems. What went wrong with me?14 years 46 weeks ago1877
I am a retired nurse with a new health problem: spinal stenosis. My doctor suggested a steroid injection. But I don't see how this will help. I don't have inflammation, just a too-small spinal opening around the spinal nerves. What's the rationale for this treatment?11 years 37 weeks ago1458
I am a retired physical therapist who now has a son who is a doctor of physical therapy. Everything has changed so much since I was in practice 50 years ago. I understand that back pain is being viewed completely differently now. Can you catch me up to speed on this? I'd like to be able to converse with my son on the topic without seeming too ancient.10 years 23 weeks ago1729
I am a second-generation Asian American. My grandmother lives with us and needs surgery for her back. After years of working in a stooped position, she can no longer stand up straight. The surgeon is going to fuse her lower back from the front and the back. How does this help the problem of being stooped over?11 years 13 weeks ago1429
I am a store manager with three employees out on medical leave for back problems. Two of those are work-related. When I spoke with them, it seemed to me that they see their pain as keeping them from their work. I always grew up with the idea that you worked through your pain. What's the current thinking on this?10 years 25 weeks ago1492
I am a worker's comp case with chronic work-related low back pain. I've been looking into getting a disc replacement. Are worker's comp patients even considered for this type of operation?10 years 39 weeks ago1520
I am about 100 pounds overweight. I've had two work-related disc herniations. Does obesity wear out the discs?14 years 12 weeks ago1889
I am almost 70, and I've gotten used to the arthritis pain in my right hip. But now I have pain that goes from my low back to my knee along the front of my thigh. What is the causing this pain?17 years 48 weeks ago2270
I am an American working for a U.S. company in Canada. I live too far away to travel to the States for my medical care, so I went to a regional rehab center here for help with my back pain. They want to shuttle me off to a clinic on another campus because I somehow fall into a subgroup of patients who should be treated differently than others. Does any of this make sense to you? I've never heard of such a thing in the U.S. and wonder if I should make a trip home for this.9 years 22 weeks ago1757
I am an Asian American, born and raised in the U.S. My grandparents are still in China and continue to work in the fields despite old age and poor health. Grandmother is especially frail with a very stooped posture. Should I try and convince her to come here for surgery? I understand a spinal fusion could really help her.11 years 9 weeks ago1438
I am an athlete. When can I get back to my sport after low back surgery?17 years 48 weeks ago1969
I am an old-timer in the health care field. I keep hearing about the new ICF model for treating patients. At first, I didn't pay much attention, but now it seems like it's in every journal I read. What can you tell me about it?10 years 2 weeks ago1686
I am considering allowing my doctor to do a guided epidural injection into my back because the pain is unbelievable. What are some of the side effects that could happen?10 years 43 weeks ago1420
I am eight months pregnant and have gotten comments about my "waddle walk." Why is this happening? Does it have anything to do with the aching in my groin area at the end of a day?17 years 33 weeks ago1949
I am going to have a spinal fusion and donate bone to myself for the operation. The bone will be taken from the pelvic bone. Does it matter which side they take it from?13 years 40 weeks ago1518
I am going to have an epidural tomorrow in my lower lumbar spine. I signed a paper approving the use of a special X-ray but now I'm wondering if I did the right thing. They told me it would have a higher dose of radiation but it gives the surgeon a better view in there. Did I do the right thing?11 years 5 weeks ago1586
I am going to have some muscle testing done for a chronic low back pain problem. Is it better to be tested when I'm having a relapse and the pain is at its worse--or when the pain has gone away?13 years 48 weeks ago1448
I am going to have surgery to take out a disc in my low back. What will replace the disc?17 years 45 weeks ago1871
I am having low back pain that isn't easy to diagnose. The doctor thinks it's a disc problem but the MRI and CT scan were "normal." The next test is a provocative discography. I'd really like to avoid more expensive tests. Is there anything else that might help?13 years 21 weeks ago1458
I am having ongoing problems with my low back. My medical doctor and my chiropractor have both suggested exercise as a way to break through the pain-spasm cycle that I'm in. I tried it for a little while, but it didn't seem to help. What should I do next?10 years 37 weeks ago1459
I am having pain down my leg to my knee. Is it possible that I have a pinched nerve?10 years 41 weeks ago1720
I am looking into the possibility of having spinal fusion for severe lumbar scoliosis. I practice a religion that does not allow blood transfusions. My surgeon tells me blood loss is a possible complication of this procedure. Should I just give up on the idea and just learn to live with the pain?11 years 14 weeks ago1354
I am now the proud "owner" of an artificial disc. It's in my low back around L4. I've been told not to jump (or fall) from tall buildings or use a jackhammer 24/7. All joking aside, I understand the reason for caution. But just how durable are these devices? Could it really break if I fell on my back, for example or stepped in a hole unexpectedly and went down?9 years 19 weeks ago1949
I am one of many silent sufferers. With chronic low back pain, I've made the rounds of chiropractors, acupuncturists, naturopaths, and massage therapists with little to show for it except an empty wallet. Is any thing being done in this country for people like us? There has to be a way out of this prison of pain.9 years 14 weeks ago1908
I am pregnant and have low back pain. I've gotten ultrasound treatments to ease my back pain before. How come I can't get them now that I'm pregnant? I just had an ultrasound to look at my baby.17 years 40 weeks ago2152
I am scheduled to have a lumbar injection for nerve pain that goes from my back down my leg. Is there any chance I could get worse instead of better?12 years 35 weeks ago1482
I am seeing my doctor for back pain but would like to try acupuncture too. Is it ok to do both?10 years 49 weeks ago1513
I am seeking the services of an acupuncturist for chronic low back pain. But I'm finding that some people trained in acupuncture have other skills as well. Some are also naturopaths or massage therapists. Is it better to see someone who just does one thing (acupuncture)? Or is it better to see someone who could do a variety of treatments?10 years 39 weeks ago1453

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