Tag Archives: back pain

Lower Back Pain – Thigh Abduction

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By Jennifer Chu

Patients with lower back pain often secondary to irritation of the L5 and S1 nerve roots will have difficulty not only due to the pain but due to weakness of the hip abductor muscles. The most powerful hip abductor is the gluteus medius. It is supplied by the superior gluteal nerve (L4, L5 and S1). The L5 nerve root has the strongest representation in this muscle. The other hip abductors are the other muscles are tensor fascia latae and gluteus minimus which are also supplied by the superior gluteal nerve.

Hip abduction can be tested with the patient supine with the thighs spread apart. The examiner then pushes the thigh inward to the midline. The hip abductors can also be tested with the patient lying on his side with the tested side uppermost. The patient then lifts the thigh up against gravity.

The most functional way of testing for hip abduction is to have the patient stand on one limb. If he is standing on his right leg and if he has weakness in his right hip abductor muscles his opposite hip will drop. This testing is called the Trendelenburg testing. To prevent the left hip from dropping in the case of a right hip abductor weakness, the patient may lean over to the right. This is also an indicator of weakness of the hip abductors on the right side.

Jennifer Chu, M.D., founder of eToims Soft Tissue Comfort Center® is also President and CEO of eToims Medical Technology LLC, a medical device company with training programs in eToims® Twitch Relief Method. She is an Emeritus Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Pennsylvania, where has been on faculty for more than 30 years.

Jennifer Chu, M.D. emeritus professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, pioneered eToims Twitch Relief Method that utilizes surface electrical stimulation to locate motor points (trigger points). The motor points are then stimulated to induce strong local muscle contractions, termed twitches. This results in reduced muscle pain and discomfort in the areas that were stimulated. The involved pain/discomfort-relieving mechanism is thought to include local muscle exercise and stretch effects.

eToims Soft Tissue Comfort Center® specializes in diagnosis and treatment which ends muscle discomfort and pain.

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Construction Injuries-Effective Pain Management and Rapid Care

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By Leslie McKerns

Summer is in full swing; it’s the busiest season for the construction industry and painful injuries abound. More than 7.3 million people (approximately 6% of the nation’s work force) work in the US construction industry and painful and debilitating construction injuries are a leading source of occupational injury.

Experts say there is a direct link between effective pain management and rapid care following an injury.

According to Lawrence Gorfine, M.D., Board Certified in Anesthesiology and Pain Management and co-founder of Palm Beach Spine & Pain Institute, effective Pain Management for injuries can depend upon rapid care following the injury. “It is essential that patients seek rapid treatment after an injury in order to limit the inflammatory processes that can lead to chronic pain and disability,” says Dr. Gorfine.

Inflammation occurs rapidly in the acute stage following an injury, quickly building up as the body attempts to neutralize toxins and begin the repair process. Pain can escalate after the acute phase of an injury, and continue as a result of damaged tissue and other injuries, and if not treated, can often lead to inflammatory conditions known as chronic pain.

Common construction related injuries include slip and fall accidents, crane and scaffolding accidents, welding rod accidents and dangerous or defective equipment accidents. Other causes of accidents are vehicular injuries while operating vehicles and machinery or from driving to and from the workplace.

By far, the most common accident at construction sites is a fall, either on the same level or from significant height. While the most serious construction injuries are caused by falling from great heights, strained or sprained arms, legs, and backs are very common construction injuries; usually a result of lifting heavy objects. In fact, the back is the part of the body most frequently injured at work accounting for nearly 25 percent of all work-related injuries.

Effective diagnosis and pain management techniques

Over the last twenty years, many chemical and anatomic pain pathways have been identified and studied, helping to diagnose and treat painful injuries. The Board Certified Anesthesiologist and Pain Medicine Specialist can perform diagnostic injections, usually with enhanced fluoroscopic guidance, to isolate and confirm the source of the patient’s pain. Once identified, these painful structures are medically treated.

Epiduroscopy is the insertion of a fiber optic filament through a needle directly into the spine. This is connected to a television monitor to visualize the inside of the spinal canal, spinal cord and spinal nerves. This procedure has been effective in making accurate diagnosis, accomplishing precise injections, cutting of epidural adhesions and scar tissue and in the removal of toxins liberated by injured discs.

Pioneering pain management techniques performed by Board Certified Pain Management physicians include highly specific injection procedures eliminating pain at its source by isolating the nerve ending to the painful spot. Medication can be injected at the exact site of the injury or compressive lesion, eliminating the pain and allowing the injured party to return to a level of previous activity.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2005 a total of 4.2 million injuries and illnesses were reported in private industry workplaces, and about 2.2 million of these required days off work or restricted duties.

How many are injured in Construction Accidents?

According to the National Center for Personal Injury Protection and Control, one out of every 10 US construction workers is accidentally injured every year. In 2003, 400,000 people suffered construction accident injuries so severe that they were forced to miss work that same year.

According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), nine out of 10 people in the nation’s workforce are protected by workers compensation insurance, which is required for nearly all employees. Injured workers receive all approved medically necessary and appropriate treatment from the first day of injury or illness.

Who Pays for Care when a Worker is Injured?

Treatment will be provided at no cost to the injured for medically necessary care approved and provided by authorized health care providers. Approved treatment can include doctor appointments, diagnostic testing, surgery, hospital and physician care, mileage reimbursement to and from all medical providers, and any other medical items or treatment ordered by your authorized physician.

Rather than simply administering pain medication, Board Certified Interventional Pain Management physicians diagnose the sources of pain and provide immediate pain relief through minimally invasive techniques. These techniques arrest the inflammatory process and limit further tissue damage, returning the injured structure to normal function. Board Certified Pain Management Physicians are an important resource for the both the patient and the employer, helping the injured quickly return to productive employment and pre-injury activity levels.

Want more information about Board Certified minimally invasive pain management procedures designed to get you back to feeling like yourself minus the pain? Visit http://www.helpain.com

Palm Beach Spine & Pain Institute founders, Lawrence Gorfine, M.D. and Douglas MacLear, D.O. are Board Certified in Anesthesiology and Pain Management. To contact the doctors or schedule an appointment visit http://www.helpain.com

Leslie McKerns, McKerns Development is a writer specializing in expertise in the professions.

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Herniated Discs

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By Adam Rostocki

Herniated discs are very common spinal abnormalities. They are so common in fact; that they might actually be called “normal”, since a large percentage of the general population has one or more disc herniations in their spines. Herniated discs have been vilified by the traditional and alternative medical systems. However, learning the truth about disc herniations will demonstrate that they are rarely the cause of serious chronic pain conditions.

Herniated discs are also known by a variety of terminologies including bulging discs, extruded discs, slipped discs, and ruptured discs. Regardless of the nomenclature used, herniated discs inspire fear in orthopedic patients around the world. Intervertebral discs are the shock absorbers of the spinal column. They reside between the individual spinal bones known as vertebrae. The discs are designed to be soft and pliable in order to cushion the vertebral bones, absorb shock in the spine and increase general spinal flexibility. Intervertebral discs are also known as spinal discs or simply discs. They are composed of a thick and durable outer wall known as the annulus fibrosus and a softer inner core known as the nucleus pulposus.

The Mattress Remedy slips between your mattress and box-spring and inflates to restore the support your back demands. Don’t throw your mattress out, fix it with the Mattress Remedy. Herniated Discs occur when the disc wall bulges outwards. This bulge can occur towards the front of the spine, the rear, or either side. Sometimes the outer wall actually tears open, leaking some of the disc nucleus into the body cavity. Discs can herniated or rupture from a variety of causes including traumatic injury, related spinal conditions or degenerative processes. It is completely normal for discs to dry out and lose thickness as we age. While medicine calls this process Degenerative Disc Disease, it is not a disease at all, but merely a universal and expected part of the aging process.

The vast majority of doctors, regardless of specialty, theorize that herniated discs cause pain mostly by compressing spinal nerve roots in their vicinity. As the disc bulges, the outer disc wall can press on the thecal sac which surrounds the spinal cord and spinal nerves. Herniated discs can also compress individual spinal nerve roots as they exit through the vertebral foramen on either side of the spine. These instances of nerve impingement can create a host of symptoms throughout the local area, as well as the anatomical region served by the affected nerve. These symptoms can affect the sensory, motor or autonomic capabilities of the bodily region served by the impinged nerve. All this talk of neurological blockage and dysfunction can have a powerful nocebo effect on any diagnosed patient. It is no surprise that most patients’ pain gets far worse after a positive diagnosis of disc herniation. All the blame residing on these poor herniated discs has certainly given them a fearsome reputation as a major contributor to long term chronic back pain problems. However, this is only half the story…

Here are some random facts about herniated discs which are not common knowledge. A sizeable amount of the population has one or more herniated discs and does not even know it. These people do not experience any pain or related symptoms and usually discover their disc abnormalities during routine imaging studies performed for a completely unrelated condition. Most patients who have herniated discs do not suffer any pain. There is very little direct proof that disc herniations are indeed the source of long term pain. Although herniated disc injuries can be painful for a time, they usually resolve themselves in a matter of weeks and do not require any special medical treatment. Continued compression of a spinal nerve will not create lasting pain; it will instead create numbness, as the nerve will cease the function altogether after a short time. Finally, the symptoms experienced by patients often do not correspond to the clinical impression of the disc injury. Patients often have pain and related neurological symptoms in areas not affected by the herniated disc.

Ok, so if herniated discs are rarely the cause of lasting symptoms, what is causing all these diagnosed patients to suffer endlessly with horrific torturous pain? The most logical and widely accepted theory says that most herniated disc pain conditions are misdiagnosed as the actual causation of symptoms. The disc irregularity exists, but is completely coincidental and innocent of causing any problems. This is the case for millions of patients who have been led down the wrong path when it comes to their back pain diagnosis. This is the primary reason for the dismal treatment results offered by most medical disc therapies. The sad reality is that back pain which lasts more than 2 months is more likely to continue forever than it is to be cured. Now that is truly frightening!

If the majority of disc conditions are innocent and asymptomatic, then what is causing all this pain? Once again, there are varying theories, but the most accepted and logical states that ischemia is the likely culprit. Oxygen deprivation of the muscles, nerves and other spinal structures can create serious pain and spasms which will bring the strongest patient to their knees. Ischemia leaves almost no telltale evidence, unless the individually affected cells can be dissected and studied in the laboratory. Oxygen deprivation can be caused by many purely physical processes, but is far more often created by a psychosomatic pain syndrome. Psycho-emotional pain is completely real, physical, and universal. The only variables are the location, duration and severity of symptoms. For patients with severe psychosomatic back pain, there is little hope for a cure, since their true underlying causative condition has never been correctly diagnosed.

I have extensive experience with herniated discs. After all, I have 2 of them, myself. I was diagnosed with multiple disc injuries in my early twenties after suffering with severe back pain since the age of 16. After diagnosis, my symptoms worsened and began a battle to control my very life. I tried every conceivable traditional, alternative and complementary treatment for disc pain with extremely poor results. After suffering in agony for 18 years, I finally ended my back pain for good. Learning the true and actual facts about herniated discs was a huge contributor to my cure. Do the research for yourself and read the clinical studies. You will also see that there is little correlation between herniated discs and chronic back pain. For every patient with a painful herniated disc, there are 10 patients with disc herniations, yet no pain. Learn the truth and become free…PAIN FREE.

Detailed information on disc conditions can be found at my Herniated Disc Information Hub.

Sensei Adam Rostocki suffered with severe and debilitating misdiagnosed back pain for 18 years. Sensei has devoted his life to helping patients who can not find relief for their chronic pain. Sensei Rostocki is the author of “Cure Back Pain Forever” (ISBN 1-59971-997-5) as well as the interactive website, http://www.cure-back-pain.org

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11 Ways To Prevent Upper Back Pain

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By Joshua Peruzzi

The stability of the upper back and limited movement in the thoracic spine make upper back pain less common than lower back pain. However, it can be debilitating when your upper back hurts. The common causes of this disorder are myofascial (muscular) pain and joint dysfunction.

You can prevent upper back pain by doing simple steps every day. These simple strategies require some adjustments in your day-to-day activities. A poor posture can weaken the muscles; strain your joints and ligaments. This will leave you with upper back pain. Primarily if you can maintain a good posture, you should be able to prevent your upper back from being injured.

You can follow 11 simple rules to prevent upper back pain

  1. If your job requires you to sit for a long time, make sure you take frequent breaks to stretch your back.
  2. If you are looking at documents, avoid looking upward, downward, or sideways which put a lot of strain on the upper back. Instead, hold the document and read in a way that you eye is parallel to the document.
  3. If you are using a computer keyboard, make sure that your arms are comfortable. Extending and raising your arms on the keyboard, which is placed too high can, strain the muscles of the upper back.
  4. As you are working on your desk, keep your arm close to your sides.
  5. When you lift heavy items, don’t twist your back.
  6. If you are breastfeeding, bring the baby close to your breast. Sit in an upright chair instead of a soft couch when you are nursing your child.
  7. Don’t slouch. Keep your body upright.
  8. Always warm up before exercise. Stretch your upper back so that your muscles do not become too tight during the workouts.
  9. Perform strengthening exercises for your upper back regularly.
  10. Avoid any activity that put repetitive stress on the upper back. If you can’t avoid it, wear protective supports and maintain good posture.
  11. If you are traveling in commercial vehicles, you may sit on a highly rounded seat. Use two pillows to support your back. Place one of them in the natural contour of your lower back. Place the other one in the gap left by the rounded seat behind your upper back. Make sure the pillows are placed in such a way that you can straighten up.

Are you having more upper back pain? Discover more tips on upper back pain treatment. Joshua Peruzzi writes for SolidBack.com and if you want to learn more about back pain relief, then wait no more and proceed to his web site now.

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