More and more people are sent for a special imaging test called the magnetic resonance image (MRI). This miracle of physics is able to picture soft tissue like no other. The doctors of old would be astounded to see nerves, blood vessels, muscles, ligaments, and the alike in a living person. In the past, this type of physical assessment was only available at an autopsy. However, these modern marvels have their limitations.
Ten years ago, when I saw the MRI image of my spine, I cried. I cried because I saw those two herniated disc that would change my life forever. That was my life-changing event. Looking back, I realize that my MRI did not change what needed to be done to treat my problem. I did not need surgery. I did not need injections. No matter how many MRI's were done on my spine, none of them would have changed what I needed to do and what would eventually happen.
I see many people who have had multiple MRI's. With the amount of MRI's performed on some people,...
Spondylolisthesis (spaun-di-lo-lie-thee-sis) is a mouthful and is a common cause of low back pain (although it can exist anywhere in the spine, the lumbar spine is the most common area affected). The spinal column is a series of building blocks called vertebral bodies stacked on top of one another. Sometimes these blocks do not line up perfectly. This slight separation in the spinal column is called a spondylolisthesis .
"Doc says I have a spondy-something-or-other. Don't ask me what it is; all I know is that it hurts". Steve tries to explain his low back condition to his friend. But, he finds that he cannot explain what he does not understand. Steve has had back pain for a number of years. Every year the pain gets worse and has now become constant. His doctor sent him for x-rays recently. The x-rays showed a spondylolisthesis with disc degeneration at L5/S1. Steve could not understand his doctor's explanation of the condition. So, now he has pain and has confusion.
If you moved more efficiently and with a better posture, would your back pain disappear? Well, some British researchers recently released some more evidence in favor of a movement therapy called the Alexander Technique for the treatment of back pain. For those who have not heard of the Alexander Technique, this is a type of movement therapy that helps to alter the way a person moves and performs tasks like sitting, walking, standing, or other types of movements. Alexander is just one method used to break bad movement habits; Feldenkrais is the other main type of movement therapy.
These movement therapies are favored by performing artists and athletes who seek to optimize the efficiency and fluidity of their performances. Both types are similar in concept, but very different in methods. Because of these differences, Alexander Technique seems better suited for the treatment of back pain than Feldenkrais Technique.
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