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Most people who experience “sciatica” are really experiencing the shooting, searing sensation of neurogenic pain (pain coming from a nerve) as discussed in the previous article, “Sciatica: What is it?” As mentioned, nerve pain can affect both the arms and legs depending on whether the pinched nerve is in the neck or low back. When a nerve is pinched by a herniated disc, the nerve becomes inflamed. Thus, the most potent anti-inflammatory medications, steroids, are used to control the inflammation around the nerve and stop the nerve pain. These steroids are placed next to the nerve by a procedure called an epidural steroid injection (ESI). For the past 50 years, millions of dollars have been spent on epidurals despite the fact that these injections do not cure the problem. ESI’s only temporarily provide symptom relief for nerve pain. Sally, a young woman who has just herniated a disc, still has burning pain that goes all the way down her leg. Relentlessly, ...
Sometimes even just picking up a piece of paper will cause a “pop” as a spinal disc herniates. The spinal discs are the shock absorbers layered between the spine bones that are stacked like blocks. When a disc herniates, it has bulged outside of its normal boundaries. The result is very painful and can also be very debilitating for months if not years. Here are some facts and solutions to keep in mind about spinal disc herniations.
v Disc Herniations Occur When the Disc Pressure is High: Bending over to pick up a piece of paper does not sound strenuous, but it can be detrimental to a weakened disc. Disc pressure increases anytime the spine is flexed. Eventually, the pressure may get high enough to overcome the resistance of the perimeter barrier that keeps the disc material contained. When the barrier fails, a disc herniation happens. Some people actually feel the “pop”.
Effectively relieving the pain of a disc herniation can be done b...
Last month, the American Pain Society added to its recommendations to health care providers regarding the diagnosis and treatment of low back pain .
In addition, the Society decided to discuss openly procedures that could be risky to sufferers of low back pain, including recommendations on surgery and other invasive therapies.
Unfortunately, there is not a significant body of good evidence to justify unquestioningly embracing these new recommendations. It is difficult to find well-done clinical studies which support the use of a number of the more invasive treatments used for chronic low back pain.
The initial set of guidelines for the management of chronic low back pain were published in "Annals of Internal Medicine" last October. However, these recommendations dealt more with the initial evaluation of a low back pain patient, and included thoughts on what type of x-rays to order in addition to more conservative treatments such as massage/manipulation and exerci...
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