Posts Tagged ‘spinal issues’

postheadericon Spinal Decompression Provides Relief from Stenosis without Surgery

Article by bsullivan

Spinal stenosis is a condition where the spine canal narrows and compresses the nerves of the spinal cord. Dr. David Nygaard treats patients for an array of pain and spinal issues at Atlas Family Chiropractic in Asheville, NC. He says that, “Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal openings in one or more of three locations, in the center of the spinal canal, where the nerves branch from the spinal cord or in the space between the vertebrae. This causes pressure on the spinal nerves, leading to irritation, inflammation and pain.”

Nygaard adds that “Spinal stenosis affects the cervical, thoracic or lumbar spine and sometimes several places at the same time.”

Spinal Stenosis Symptoms

Like many spinal conditions that impair proper nerve function, spinal stenosis can develop without symptoms. Symptoms can develop gradually and worsen over time. Symptoms include: pain in the back and/or neck, numbness, tingling or radiating pain in the extremities and muscle weakness in the extremities.

Causes of Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is often a common occurrence of spinal degeneration that occurs as people age. Degeneration is associated with disc bulging, spinal joint enlargement, the development of bone spurs and the thickening or buckling of ligaments. Stenosis can also be caused by spinal disc herniation, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, injuries or trauma, ligament thickening or the presence of a tumor.

In the cervical (neck) and lumbar (low back) region it can be a congenital condition.Disc herniation is the displacement of the center of a vertebral disc through a crack in the outer layer. Disc herniation can put pressure on the nerves causing irritation, inflammation and pain.

Individuals born with a narrow spinal canal or who experience trauma to their spine may develop spinal stenosis earlier than those who develop it due to degeneration due to aging. People who are genetically predisposed to hypertrophic osteoarthritis and/or have an abnormal curvature of the spine (scoliosis) may also develop spinal stenosis.

Compression Causes Problems

Dr. Nygaard explains that the pinching or compression of spinal nerves and blood vessels leads to health issues, including pain. “Stenosis in the lower back can lead to a condition called cauda equina syndrome that results from compression within the spinal canal.

Spinal compression causes leg pain or numbness, back pain, abnormal sensation in the extremities including the legs, thigh, buttocks and feet and loss of bladder or bowel control and problems having sex.

Non-Surgical Options

If this degenerative disease progress far enough, chiropractic care is no longer a viable treatment. In the past, this left surgery as the remaining option. Dr. Nygaard and others are beginning to treat spinal compression with spinal decompression therapy.

Spinal decompression is a non-surgical and drug-free alternative for disc-related syndromes of the lumbar or cervical spine. Many patients have found relief from pain associated with herniated discs, bulging discs, facet syndrome, degenerative joint disease, pinched nerves, and other spinal afflictions with the application of decompression therapy. Spinal Decompression uses computer-aided technology to apply gentle, non-surgical decompression to the spine. This increases circulation into the spinal discs and joints helping to relieve the symptoms that cause pain.

Spinal decompression helps relieve symptoms of spinal stenosis. “As spinal discs are decompressed, it can relieve bulges that irritate nerves. Nerve irritation and inflammation can lead to a myriad of health problems, many of which are healed by the body once the compressive forces are removed from the nerve,” says Nygaard. Spinal decompression therapy can relieve nerve pressure associated with lower back pain and diseases like spinal stenosis and sciatica. It enlarges diminished disc space and allows for re-hydration and the influx of vital nutrients. When the spine is properly aligned the surrounding nerves and blood vessels are not pinched the nervous system and body can begin to heal and function properly, often times relieving the associated pain. Bold words changed

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About the Author

Chris WingateFreelance journalist, outdoorsman and adrenalin junkie, Chris can be found exploring the forests of the South East where he is a white water raft guide on the French Broad River. When not wet or covered in mud Chris produces shows for his local public access TV station URTV and plays bass in an alt-country band “Hobos and Lace”. For more information Visit:

postheadericon Spinal Issues: Groundbreaking Pre-Surgical Models Increase Surgical Effacacy

Modern technology continues to evolve rapidly and with the groundbreaking new diagnostic tool of three-dimensional models, orthopedic surgeons can now perform orthopaedic surgery with more efficacy. 3-D models are becoming recognized in the orthopedic field as a valuable pre-surgical tool that not only allows spinal surgeons to inspect and diagnosis patients who suffer with spinal injuries or other skeletal problems, but also allows them to spend less time in the operating room. With the use of a CT or MRI scan, a realistic model of the patient’s spinal injury or abnormality is made allowing the surgeon to examine the injury and plan and practice the surgical procedure that may be required. With preplanning, the spinal surgeon knows beforehand exactly the techniques that will be used to complete the surgery, reducing time and cost. This also improves the chances of error, as surgeons know exactly what they are facing before the actual surgery.

3-D models are now being used by orthopaedic surgeons to exam patients with spinal conditions such as stenosis, spondylitis, spondylosis, kyphosis, lordosis and lumbar, thoracic and cervical spine disorders. Three-dimensional models are also valuable in analyzing and diagnosing infants with spina bifida, patients suffering with a spinal cord injury or those who may require back surgery such as laminectomy.

With the use of a 3-D model of the patient’s exact anatomy, it has been shown that surgical time can be reduced by 10 to 15 percent. This dramatically reduces the costs for patients, while providing a safer surgery. When surgeons use models for pre-surgical planning, surgical procedures that normally require many hours can be reduced. This cuts costs of the surgical team, which includes nursing staff, orthopedic surgeons and anesthesiologists. It also reduces the costs of the operating room and medical equipment. Costs normally average about ,000 an hour, when combined. When this cost is cut down by an hour or two, it can provide a substantial savings.

Of course, safety is always the number one issue and no corners should be cut when it comes to this, but with the use of a 3D model, surgeons are more prepared pre-operatively for the surgical procedure. This cuts down extremely on chances of error during the operation by giving the surgeon the opportunity to carefully go over the entire procedure before the actual operation is performed. Patients benefit from a planned surgery by the surgeon and a lower time being under anesthesia while also avoiding having to undergo long hours of surgery.

postheadericon Spinal Issues: A Critical Tool Your Surgeon Isn't Using

No one can truly understand your pain unless they have experienced it. Spinal complications may have similarities between one patient and another, but the cause of your pain is as individual as you are. Your spinal surgeon should not treat your orthopedic health like just another part of an assembly line. A professional will have the newest tools available to make an accurate diagnosis.

You know where it hurts. But whether discomfort originates in the cervical spine, or upper neck, thoracic, the mid-section of the spine, or lower lumbar portion, the cause of back pain can stem from a variety of reasons that are not always that easy to determine. The cure for your pain must match the source for successful long-term relief.

Before you undergo orthopaedic surgery, question your physician on methods used to reach this decision. If only x-rays or other 2-dimensional images were available to pinpoint the problem, insist on further investigation from a 3-dimentional view. Better tools exist than pictures. A model of the spine better exemplifies human anatomy and movement and the many reasons from which pain can stem. While spinal surgery might be the cure for some patients, you may require no surgery at all.

Bulging and herniated discs associated with spinal injury often require some type of back surgery. However, other ailments display similar symptoms and require different measures to correct them. Degenerative diseases such as stenosis, in which the spinal canal narrows, presses against nerves and triggers pain. This condition may only be relieved by removing a portion of the spinal canal, referred to as a laminectomy. Spondylosis, a form of arthritis, and spondylitis, inflammation of the vertebra, are also at risk for misdiagnosis and the wrong treatment.

Elderly patients with degenerative diseases are not the only victims misdiagnosed. Lordosis and kyphosis, curvatures of the spinal column, take their toll on young and old alike. In youth, these conditions likely develop before birth. A back brace is usually needed to make corrections. Underdeveloped vertebrae associated with spina bifida require more aggressive measures to protect a protruding spinal cord. Or perhaps you suffer from a spinal cord injury in which surgery could cause further complications.

Once you and your physician agree on the right decision for relief of your pain, a 3D model can play an important role in pre-surgery planning to ensure the positive results you need for permanent relief.

postheadericon Spinal Issues: Is Your Surgeon Using the Right Tools?

With the seriousness of surgeries that involve the spine, knowing that the surgeon who will be performing the surgery is well prepared and will provide the safest and most effective surgery should be of the utmost importance. Spinal surgery often calls for delicate and precise techniques for successful results. Knowing that the orthopedic surgeon has prepared in advance for these complicated types of surgery can help reassure the patient that the procedure will go smoothly without error.

With the use of a new and groundbreaking diagnostic orthopaedic tool, surgeons can examine and diagnosis the spinal injury in a fashion that has never been done before. Three-dimensional models are now being created of patient’s spines and other skeletal parts for surgeons to analysis and evaluate defects, injuries and damage caused by disease. These tools allow the surgeon to see the area exactly as it is by holding the model in their hand and turning it in every direction for three dimensional examination. When surgery is required, the surgeon can practice the procedure on the model for pre-operative purposes that will enable them to provide a safer and faster surgical procedure while reducing the risks of complications and errors.

Patients who may need surgery for a spinal cord injury or other spinal injury such as stenosis, spondylitis, spondylosis, kyphosis or lordosis that require back surgery should know that their spinal surgeon is well prepared and has utilized every available orthopedic tool that can provide better and shorter operative outcomes. Because 3-D models are not widely known about since they are new and groundbreaking, informing personal surgeons about these important devices will help not only the patients, but also the surgeons.

Surgeons who do use these models find that orthopaedic surgery times are cut down by 15 to 20 percent, reducing the amount of stress on the surgeon and the patient. With less time spent in the operating room, costs are also significantly reduced for the patient. This can add up to thousands saved and provide a better outcome of the surgical procedure. Whether the patient may need a laminectomy for thoracic, lumbar or cervical spine repair or an infant need spina bifida correction, this new diagnostic orthopedic tool can assure patients that their surgeon is well prepared and has become completely educated on the surgical procedure, reducing the risks of complications while providing successful results.

postheadericon Spinal Issues – Spine Models Give Orthopaedic Surgeons a Well-Rounded View

When surgery that involves delicate and precise technique is called for, many orthopaedic surgeons have found the use of three-dimensional models to be of extreme help. With these devices, surgeons can get a well-rounded view of the patient’s injury for planning and preparing surgical procedures. Before this important medical device was created, surgeons relied solely on CT scans and MRI’s. With the new 3-D model being used as a diagnostic tool, they can provide valuable information in diagnosing certain injuries and diseases, since they give the surgeon an up-close and in-depth realistic view of the area of concern.

Three-dimensional models are created by medical stereolithographers who are experts in this field. With the use of a MRI scan or CT scan, the stereolithographer can duplicate a 3-D model that is exactly like the anatomy of the patient. The accuracy of the model is within 1/35th of a millimeter. This allows the surgeon to hold the model and inspect the area of concern closely, which otherwise can only be evaluated with imaging results. These 3-D models can be made for any skeletal part including the skull and spine.

Not only does this new and innovative medical tool allow the spinal surgeon to analysis and diagnosis orthopedic conditions, it also is valuable in the practicing and review of exactly what the orthopaedic surgery will involve. Doctors can do a dry run of the procedure before the actual surgery, which can reduce the margin of error extremely and reduce the amount of time the surgery would normally take. This provides the patient with much lower costs of operating room and surgical team fees as well as anesthesiologist and surgeon fees. Patients are also under anesthesia for a shorter amount of time, helping to reduce the risks of complications.

With the use of 3-D models being so beneficial to patients and spinal surgeons, this incredible invention will soon be a common orthopedic tool for doctors. With these devices able to identify defects that may not be found with traditional imaging devices, doctors will be able to provide a more thorough and accurate diagnosis. They also are being used as educational tools to help patients understand exactly what the spinal injury is and how it will be surgically corrected. These models are being found to be very beneficial to patients with thoracic, lumbar and cervical spine disorders as well as individuals who suffer with lordosis, spondylosis, spondylitis, kyphosis, spina bifida and stenosis. They can also be very beneficial for patients who require back surgery such as laminectomy or repair of a spinal cord injury.

postheadericon Spinal Issues: How to Save Thousands on Your Back Pain Surgery

Orthopedic surgeons would never intentionally misdiagnose your spinal ailment, but without the latest tool to aid them in coming to a conclusion, this can happen. Don’t take the risk of going through an unnecessary spinal surgery without knowing the best tools were used to come to this decision.

Three-dimentional models clearly illustrate the cervical spine, thoracic and lumbar regions in life form. This allows surgeons to accurately match findings from x-rays and other images to the actual source of your pain. Symptoms of many spinal conditions closely mimic the symptoms of others. Compression and pressing on nerves can result from stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal canal, as well as spondylitis, an inflamation of the vertebra. Similar symptoms do not mean the same treatment. While stenosis could require a laminectomy, removal of a portion of the spinal canal, spondylitis can be cured with less agressive measures.

Lordosis and kyphosis, curvatures of the spine, can also affect nerves and cause pain in extremities. These conditions might be better cured with braces than with back surgery. Spondylosis, a degenerative form of spinal arthritis, would require yet another treatment. However, spinabifida, a birth defect in which the vertebra do not fully develop, needs surgical means to correct.

A spinal surgeon can utilize 3-D models to pre-plan surgery to avoid mistakes and risking spinal cord injury during surgery by helping target the precise area and ailment before surgery takes place. These models are the latest breakthrough in orthopedic medicine. If you suffer from a spinal injury, insist that your spinal surgeon has every available tool to plan your treatment.

Surgery is an expensive option for relief of pain. Worse yet is a second surgery because the first one was not successful or surgery was not the answer to begin with. Thousands of dollars can be saved merely by choosing the right tool in the beginning to determine the source of back pain and the correct cure. Don’t rob yourself of money wasted on unnecessary surgery and time to recovery. Discuss a 3-D model with your surgeon long before making the decision to enter the operating room.

postheadericon Lumbar Spinal Stenosis – Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

With the mixed results generated from numerous scientific tests performed on different treatments, lumbar spinal stenosis is one of the typical causes of lower back pain that is probably difficult to address. In fact, spinal stenosis is even known as a debilitating condition in the United States Social Security Act.

What is Spinal Stenosis?

A medical illness that occurs once the spinal canal becomes smaller and puts excessive pressure on the spinal cord and its nerve roots.

The three major areas of spine, particularly the cervical, thoracic and lumbar (often misspelled as “lumber”) areas are prone to spinal stenosis. Stinger is a type of cervical spinal stenosis which is typical in American football players which is known by upper back pain, numbness, and weakness in the arms. For some “lucky” few, spinal stenosis may be found on all three areas.

The following are some causes that may bring on lumbar spinal canal stenosis:

Spinal disc herniation
Spinal degeneration that comes with aging
Spondylolisthesis, especially along L4 and L5
Anklylosing spondylitis

Additional facts on these disease entities can be found in Wiki. Individuals who are at risk of getting lumbar spinal stenosis are…

Possessing a slender spinal canal since birth
More than 50 years of age
Earlier spinal injury
Operated on for spinal issues
Experiencing osteoarthritis and have bone spurs in the spine
Prior case of inflammatory spondyloarthritis
Record of and/or existence of tumors in the spine
Paget’s disease of the bone.

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Indications…

Lumbar spinal stenosis should be entertained when the patient shows with the following indications…

Pseudoclaudication, which is known by soreness, numbness, weakness, cramping or tingling of the legs and thighs
Pain radiates down to the leg

Extreme discomfort as well as the loss of bladder and/or bowel control, loss of sexual function, decreased sensation in the feet leading to troubles in walking, or partial or full leg paralysis may be felt in intense cases when the lumbar spinal stenosis presses upon the cauda equina in the sacral region. Cauda equina syndrome requires instant medical care.

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Treatment…

Upon verification of lumbar spinal canal stenosis through diagnostic procedures like x-rays, CT scan, and MRI, the physician determines the ideal treatment depending upon the reason of the stenosis.

Spinal decompression therapy, a non-surgical treatment, will be suggested to a patient particularly if the stenosis is prompted by a herniated disc. However, spinal decompression will not be effective if bony spurs are the cause of the stenosis.

Presently, lumbar spinal stenosis surgery is the best treatment to use. The surgery would involve the extracting of the overlying lamina or roof to relieve stress on the spinal cord. This procedure is known as laminectomy. Since instability may occur after the operation, spinal fusion needs to be conducted in addition to the laminectomy.


When it pertains to the effectiveness of spinal stenosis pain alleviation physical exercises, there is still a lot of dispute. A slender spinal canal cannot be adjusted with the application of stretching and yoga exercises though these can assist a lot in reducing discomfort since these help in strengthening the back muscles and support structures that improve the solidity of the spine. For lumbar spinal stenosis, the salmon calcitonin treatments are currently being studied on.