Even back pain caused by a spondylolisthesis and lumbar stenosis can be treated with physical therapy. Because spondylolisthesis and lumbar stenosis can cause nerve damage, surgery is the natural knee-jerk treatment option that people think about. Of course, surgical spinal fusion is the best option to stabilize the spine if the nerves are severely damaged and in jeopardy of further damage. But, what about a low grade spondylolisthesis and mild stenosis? Can surgery be avoided? Absolutely, the body is able to compensate for the misalignment of the passive, spinal structures with optimal functioning of the active, stabilizing muscles. That's right; bones, ligaments, and cartilage are passive structures that sometimes fail; thus, the muscles and nerves which actively control the muscles can compensate for the problem. The spine has two systems, the passive and the active system, which can balance each other out. This redundancy allows for one system to compensate for problems in the oth...
Foraminotomy is surgery that widens the opening in your back where nerve roots leave your spinal canal. You may have a narrowing of the nerve opening (foraminal stenosis).
Intervertebral foramina; Spine surgery - foraminotomy
Foraminotomy takes pressure off of a nerve in your spinal column and allows it to move more easily. It may be performed on any level of the spine. You will be asleep and feel no pain (general anesthesia ).
You will lie face down on the operating table. A cut (incision) is made in the middle of the back of your spine. The length of the incision depends on how much of your spinal column will be operated on.
Skin, muscles, and ligaments are moved to the side. Your surgeon may use a surgical microscope to see inside your back.
Some bone is cut or shaved away to open the nerve root opening (foramen). Any disk fragments are removed. Other bone may also be removed at the back of t...
It is time to retire the idea that depression is caused by a “chemical imbalance of the brain.” The chemical imbalance myth creates the false impression that our brains are some form of neurotransmitter porridge that can be rendered just right with squirts of serotonin and dopamine.
Thanks to at least two decades of research, we now have a number of good working models on what tends to go wrong in the brain during a depressive episode. A review article by Murali Rao and Julie Alderson in this month”s Current Psychiatry outlines four overlapping theories of depression. Let’s look at three of them:
Differences in neuron densities in various regions of the brain.
The effect of stress on neural growth and death.
Alterations in feedback pathways connecting the pre-frontal cortex to the limbic system.
The common denominator is what happens when the brain is exposed to chronic stress. Among other things, stress promotes the release of glucocorticoids. O...
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