With neck or back pain, people automatically assume that the spinal discs are the source of pain. Sometimes that assumption is incorrect because frequently the small joints of the spine called the facet joints are the culprit. This very common generator of cervical, thorocic and lumbar pain connects one boney segment to the other, helping to form the entire spinal chain or column like a big long Slinky. These joints are extremely important for supporting motion such as twisting, bending and turning. Without these facet joints, the spine would feel like one big broomstick. Because the spine is constantly in motion, the joints are always being stressed and can become worn out, swollen and painful.
Arthritis in the facet joints is technically called Facet Arthropathy . You'll find that term on radiologists' reports examining the spine by X-Ray, MR, or CT imaging. Facet arthropathy can be seen in those who do not have any pain and in those as young as their 20s. In reality, these jo...
A fragile fracture of the spine can go undetected for a long period of time. These fractures lack the drama of a broken leg or broken arm. Furthermore, these fractures are not usually caused by a life-altering trauma or incident. No, these fractures are more the quiet-types sitting in the corner of someone’s life. You can detect a fracture of the spine if you look for these five signs.
Pain with breathing, coughing or laughing: Because osteoporosis-related fractures often involves the thoracic spine, a portion of the spine that joins with the chest wall, sudden chest wall movements like deep breathes, sudden coughs or bursts of laughter will aggravate this area of the spine that may have been fractured.
Pain with bending or lifting: Compression fractures of the spine occur in the front of the spinal column. This area is under the greatest amount of stress when bending forward or lifting; thus, pain during these activities is a reliable sign that the ...
A lumbosacral spine MRI uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create pictures of the structures that make up the spine, the spinal cord, and the spaces between the vertebrae, through which the nerves travel.
Conventional radiography and computed tomographic ( CT ) imaging use potentially harmful radiation (x-rays) that passes through a patient to generate images. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is based on the magnetic properties of atoms, and there is no exposure to the same type of radiation used in x-rays and CT scans.
A powerful magnet generates a magnetic field roughly 10,000 times stronger than the Earth's. A very small percentage of hydrogen atoms within the body will align with this field. Radio wave pulses are broadcast towards the aligned hydrogen atoms in tissues of interest, returning a signal of their own. The slight differences of those signals from different tissues enables MRI to tell the difference between various organs, and potentially, prov...
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