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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...
Talk about momentum! Two new reports showcase how much progress already has been made in learning about the brain and provide hope about what could come for millions with brain disorders, including those with Alzheimer’s.
The Brain and Pain
Researchers have found a way to see the effect of pain on brain scans for the first time, including measuring its intensity and determining whether a drug was easing it. “Although many studies have found brain areas that light up when pain is present, the new work is the first to develop a combined signature from all these signals that can be used to measure pain,” wrote Associated Press reporter Marilynn Marchione.
This type of breakthrough is especially important in relation to Alzheimer’s and dementia, when it is really difficulty to determine whether the person who is in the later stages of these conditions is in pain but cannot talk or signal it.
The study involved 114 healthy participants who volunteered to have heatin...
This study showed that a single injection of a nerve-blocking agent can be used for pain control after a total knee replacement (TKR). The femoral nerve block (FNB) is given when the patient is anesthetized for the operation. The femoral nerve is blocked with a loss of sensation to the front and inner part of the knee. The effects last 12 to 16 hours. There were two groups in this study. All patients were getting a TKR. The first group had anesthesia and a FNB. The second group had anesthesia and a fake nerve block (only saline was injected).During the first 24 hours after the operation, patients with the FNB (Group A) asked for less painkillers than patients who didn't get the nerve block (Group B). Group A also used less morphine during their stay in the hospital.No other differences were seen between the two groups. Both groups had the same results in rehab and stayed in the hospital about the same number of days. The authors conclude that pain after a TKR can be managed with a sin...
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