Driving a car to the local mechanic to get it fixed is not the same thing as taking the human body into surgery; although, this "fix-it" attitude drives patients and surgeons alike towards surgical solutions. Lately, a growing number of people are undergoing low back surgery . A recent study examined the relationship between patient expectations and the actual outcomes from lumbar spine surgery. Because pre-surgical expectations do not always equate to the actual results, how can a person judge whether or not a surgery was successful? How can one predict surgical success?
Understanding the primary reasons for seeking surgical solutions is the first step towards discussing the likelihood of success. The top three causes for patients wanting lumbar surgery are: 1#, other therapies have failed to help; 2#, the pain is unbearable; 3#, walking has become difficult. Based on these reasons to see a surgeon, patients come to the operating room harboring certain expectations. Patients wa...
Approaching menopause provides all kinds of new experiences – like figuring out that you may be experiencing gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). I got my wake-up call (literally) when I would started coughing and choking in the middle of the night. Marcia Menter in a recent More article entitled “How I Checked Out of the Heartburn Hotel” described the feeling as a “bad postnasal drip.”
So what causes this reaction? Menter noted that the lower escophageal sphincter loses its ability to keep the stomach contents in place right. This often happens right as women reach perimenopause or menopause. When the sphincter relaxes at the wrong time, digestive acid backs up into the esophagus.
So how can you prevent GERD from messing with your beauty sleep? One way is to look at your diet. I recently wrote a sharepost for HealthCentral’s diet and fitness site about what foods you should consider removing from your diet in order to avoid acid reflux . For inst...
How can chronic pain be prevented? Oh that I and the insurance companies knew the answer to that question!
The key is to identify those patients at risk for the development of chronic pain .
Musculoskeletal pain is a significant problem in this country: 85% of the population suffers from this affliction at some point during the employment years. Fortunately, the majority recover rather quickly from acute back pain . It is the 3% to 10% that develop long-term disability due to their chronic pain, which is a deceptively small percentage if one considers that this minority consumes significantly more than 50% of the health care dollars for this problem.
If the chronic pain group could be identified, perhaps an intervention could occur which might avoid the suffering and costs associated with pain and loss of income. Unfortunately, musculoskeletal pain is such a frequent occurrence, it would be prohibitively costly to attempt psychological interventions upon every ...
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