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The idea that the spine is fragile is an unjustified but deeply held belief, based on ignorance of a complex subject and on an obsolete mechanical view of biology that has dominated medical thinking for centuries.
Injury to the bones and joints: Fractures (breakage of bone) of the lumbar spine and sacrum bone most commonly affect elderly people with osteoporosis, especially those who have taken long-term cortisone medication. For these individuals, occasionally even minimal stresses on the spine (such as bending to tie shoes) can lead to bone fracture. In this setting, the vertebra can collapse (vertebral compression fracture). The fracture causes an immediate onset of severe localized pain that can radiate around the waist in a band-like fashion and is made intensely worse with body motions. This pain generally does not radiate down the lower extremities. Vertebral fractures in younger patients occur only after severe trauma, such as from motor-vehicle accidents or a convulsive seizure.
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There are many other potential causes of back pain, but most of these are rare. Be sure to see your doctor if you experience regular back pain that does not go away. After ruling out the more common causes of back pain, your doctor will perform tests to determine if you have a more rare cause. These can include:
The road to understanding what may be causing your pain can seem overwhelming when you aren’t sure where to look. We want to help you take the next step. Read on to learn about back pain conditions and treatment options.
If you read, sew, or sit in bed for long each day, this backrest pillow with arms might be a good project to make. This backrest pillow is cozy and comfy. It is an easy sewing project. What you will n
Spondylosis occurs as intervertebral discs lose moisture and volume with age, which decreases the disc height. Even minor trauma under these circumstances can cause inflammation and nerve root impingement, which can produce classic sciatica without disc rupture.
Inflammation and wear of the sacroiliac joint: This lies where your spine and pelvis come together. It doesn’t move much, but it’s important because it moves the load of the upper body to the lower body. Swelling and wearing away of the joint cartilage can happen after an injury, because of arthritis, infection, or even pregnancy.
Add a special lumbar cushion to your car to help you stay comfortable and avoid back cramping while driving. This is especially helpful if you plan on taking a long trip or if your daily commute is long. Concentrate on your work and get more done during the work day with an easy to set up lumbar support cushion. You can find the perfect lumbar support cushion; one that molds to your shape, like a memory foam cushion.
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I bought two of your eBooks last week, and I’m enjoying going through them. Your presentation is excellent. It’s far too early too say, of course, but I think I’ve already begun to benefit from your approach. One of the things I like most about your approach is your respect for “science,” as opposed to “merchandising.” You’ve put so much into those two eBooks, it’s going to take time to do them the justice they deserve.
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2016 — Correction: Removed overconfident statements about the clinical significance of the effects of psychoactive drugs, plus related minor updates. [Section: A trigger point checklist: does this sound like you?]
Watching TV, reading, checking your news feed, and eating a delicious breakfast—what do these things have in common? They’re better in bed! And with a bed wedge pillow from Brookstone, you can get even more comfortable while you do them.
The story of actor Andy Whitfield is a disturbing and educational example of a case that met these conditions — for sure the first two, and probably the third as well if we knew the details. Whitfield was the star of the hit TV show Spartacus (which is worthwhile, but rated very, very R17) The first sign of the cancer that killed him in 2011 was steadily worsening back pain. It’s always hard to diagnose a cancer that starts this way, but Whitfield was in the middle of intense physical training to look the part of history’s most famous gladiator. Back pain didn’t seem unusual at first, and some other symptoms may have been obscured. Weight loss could have even seemed like a training victory at first. It was many long months before he was diagnosed — not until the back pain was severe and constant. A scan finally revealed a large tumour pressing against his spine.
Sure, sky-high stilettos are a no-no, but it turns out that flats can cause trouble, too. Sandals and flip-flops often provide little, if any, arch support. Continuous wear can lead to back, knee, and foot problems down the line, says Megan Tabor, a chiropractor at the Osher Clinical Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. But don’t worry: You needn’t settle for all function and no flair. Alternate styles throughout the week — from high to low, sneakers to sandals — and avoid wearing a particular pair every day. Shoes should fit properly and offer good arch and heel support, Tabor says. If you walk to work or the bus stop, wear shock-absorbing sneakers, then slip on cuter kicks once you get to the office. Your purse could also be to blame, especially if it’s huge and you’re lugging it on one shoulder. Try a tote with a wide, padded strap; carry it messenger style; and lighten the load. According to the American Chiropractic Association, your bag should weigh less than 10 percent of your body weight.
Bed rest pillows are a common accessory in many bedrooms for anyone who reads or works on a laptop in bed. They help promote a healthier posture so you don’t have to slump over while reading or working. These pillows may look familiar from your childhood – almost everyone has probably had a backrest pillow at some point growing up. They are pillows with backs and armrests attached – backrest pillows have come a long way in both design and style.
2011 — Rewritten: Improved and expanded. In particular, intramuscular stimulation (IMS) was “demoted.” I am disillusioned with it and no longer want to promote it without strong caveats. [Section: “Medical” treatment option for trigger points: dry needling (IMS), stretch and spray, and trigger point injections.]
Back “spasms” are a largely a myth — there’s no such thing a sustained painful contractions of muscles in otherwise healthy people (see Cramps, Spasms, Tremors & Twitches) — but the kernel of truth in the idea of “spasms” may be the idea of trigger points, which are hypothetical “micro cramps,” tiny patches of painfully contracting muscle. Although this idea is controversial, it is nevertheless one of the most likely explanations for common aches and pains that mostly stick to one area (especially the back) and have no other obvious cause. See Back Pain & Trigger Points. BACK TO TEXT
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^ Jump up to: a b Rubinstein SM, van Middelkoop M, Assendelft WJ, de Boer MR, van Tulder MW (2011). Rubinstein SM, ed. Spinal manipulative therapy for chronic low-back pain. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (2): CD008112. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD008112.pub2. PMID 21328304. Archived from the original on 9 June 2013.
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About 50% of women experience low back pain during pregnancy. Some studies have suggested women who have experienced back pain before pregnancy are at a higher risk of having back pain during pregnancy. It may be severe enough to cause significant pain and disability in up to a third of pregnant women. Back pain typically begins at around 18 weeks gestation, and peaks between 24 and 36 weeks gestation. Approximately 16% of women who experienced back pain during pregnancy report continued back pain years after pregnancy, indicating those with significant back pain are at greater risk of back pain following pregnancy.