Category: Degenerative Disc Disease

BPS 17: An Overview of Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is a serious medical condition that results due to the narrowing of the spinal nerves. Degeneration of the soft tissues that include the discs, muscles, and vertebrae may occur over time. The changes may ultimately lead to the spinal stenosis.

In this post, we will talk about a specific type of spinal stenosis known as lumbar spinal stenosis. Here you will learn about the symptoms, prognosis, diagnosis, and treatment of the condition.

About Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

Stenosis is derived from the Greek word meaning choking. The condition often results due to degenerative bone diseases such as spondylolisthesis and osteoarthritis. Lumbar spinal stenosis occurs when the spinal nerves in the lower back get chocked. This most often leads to severe leg pain among other symptoms.

Individuals with lumbar spinal stenosis often experience pain while walking, which is known as claudication. The pain results in diminished activity levels. Patients generally feel relieved when at rest but the pain resumes when walking.

Symptoms of Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

Individuals with lumbar spinal stenosis may feel different symptoms. Some of the symptoms include th ...

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BPS 16: What are the Causes, Types, and Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis?

Stenosis refers to an abnormal narrowing of the body. Spinal stenosis is a condition where the narrowing occurs in the bone channel occupied by the spinal cord and spinal nerves. Some people are born with a congenital defect, but most develop this as part of the degenerative disc due to aging.

The narrowing of the bone channel may result in radiating pain, numbness, and weakness. It can also result in a secondary compression of the spinal cord or nerves.

What are the Causes of Spinal Stenosis?

Spinal stenosis can occur due to many reasons. Some people have a small spinal canal that results in narrowing in the space within the spine. Other causes of the condition include herniated disks, overgrowth of bone, tumors, thickened ligaments, and spinal injuries.

People over the age of 50 are susceptible to developing spinal stenosis. Although, it can also happen in younger individuals.

Types of Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis types are classified according to the location where the problem occurs. Based on the location, spinal stenosis can be divided into two types.

1. Cervical Spinal Stenosis

Cervical spinal stenosis occurs in the neck area. The cond ...

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BPS 12: Lumbar Spine Pain — Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Our lumbar spine consists of interconnecting bones, nerves, joints, ligaments,and muscles. The lower back portion of the spine provides supports to the body. It also offers strength and flexibility. But the complex structure is also susceptible to injury resulting in pain.

In this article, you will learn about the causes of lumbar spine pain. You will also learn about the diagnosis and treatment option of the lower back pain.

What are the Causes of Lumbar Spine Pain?

A lot of different factors can contribute to lumbar spine pain. The pain can occur due to disc degeneration due to aging. It can also occur due to a wrong sitting posture or an injury to the ligaments, muscles, joints, or disc.

The lower back pain is one of the most used parts of the body. A simple motion such as bending and lifting involves the movement of the lumbar spine. The muscles at the back are responsible for rotating and flexing the hips. It also supports the spinal column. Overtime, the lumbar spine disc gets damaged due to wear and tear resulting in pain. Degenerated or damaged disc results in inflammation and muscle spasm in the area leading to lower back pain.

Types of Lumba ...

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BPS 11: 7 Common Causes of Sciatic Nerve Pain

An effective treatment of sciatica requires understanding the underlying medical cause. Once the cause of the sciatica pain is understood, the root cause of the pain can be addressed. In this article, we will discuss the seven common causes of sciatica.

1. Isthmic Spondylolisthesis

One common cause of sciatica is isthmic spondylolisthesis. This occurs when a fracture results in a vertebral body to slip onto another. For instance, this can occur when the L4 vertebra slips over to the L5 vertebra.

The combination of the stress due to fracture, disc space reduction, and the slipping forward of the vertebral body can result in a pinched nerve. This results in sciatica symptoms.

2. Spinal Tumor

In some cases, a tumor can put pressure on a nerve root causing sciatica. The tumor sometimes originates in the spine. But usually, spinal tumor develops when cancer in a different part of the body spreads to the spine.

3. Disc Degeneration

Disc degeneration is a natural process of aging. In most cases, this does not cause any problem. However, smoothies the disc degeneration results in irritation of the nerve root. When this happens, it leads to sciatica.

Ne ...

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BPS 10: Herniated Disk Symptoms and Causes…

Herniated Disc—what is it?

It’s a problem associated with one of the disks located between the vertebrae that are stacked together to make the spine. This spinal disk is like a rubbery cushion which is encased in a tough exterior, while the center of the disk is soft.

A herniated disk is also termed as a ruptured or slipped disk. It is known to occur when some of the soft jelly in the center of the disk squeezes outward through a tear in the exterior. Though it occurs usually in the lumbar spine, some people can have a herniated disk in the cervical spine.

Common Symptoms for Herniated Disk

The condition can be identified through some signs and symptoms such as:

·        Pain in the leg or arm

If you have herniated disk in the lumbar spine, then you are likely to feel intense pain in the lower body region such as your hips, thigh and calf; and sometimes even the foot. However, if the condition affects the cervical region, then you’re likely to experience severe pain in the arm or your shoulder.

The pain shoots in the leg or arm when you move into certain positions, cough or sneeze.

·     ...

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BPS 9: What are the Symptoms and Causes of Sciatic Nerve Pain?

Sciatica is associated with a feeling of pain, weaknesses, and numbness. Symptoms of sciatic pain differ but generally involve a pain in the buttocks. Sometimes the pain is felt in the back of the thigh, calf, or even just the toes.

Keep in mind that sciatica involves radicular pain that originates from the nerve. A pain that originates from the joint is not sciatica, but joint pain. The specific nerve pain can be traced to the area that has been injured.

Here you will learn about the different types of sciatica nerve pain depending on the source of the pain.

Symptoms of Sciatic Nerve Pain

Sciatica nerve pain generally originates from the area between the lumbar segments L3 and L4 and L4 and L5. In some cases, it also originates between the lumbar segment L5 and sacral segment S1. Symptoms experienced by an individual differs depending on the location of the pain.

Sciatica from L3-L4 Level

Sciatica symptoms that stem from the L3-L4 nerve root include pain in the lower leg or foot. The patient may not be able to heel walk i.e. bring the foot upwards. In addition, there is reduced knee-jerk reflex associated with nerve pain that stems from this level.

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BPS 8: What are the Common Treatment Options for Sciatica Nerve Pain?

Sciatic nerve pain in most cases goes away over time. But if the pain does not subside with time, medical treatment should be sought.

For most people, simple non surgical methods and regular exercise are effective. A structure treatment option, including surgery, is necessary in case of persistent pain.

In this article, we will list treatment options – both non surgical and surgical – for sciatic pain.

Non surgical Treatment Plans

The aim of non surgical treatment options is to provide relief from sciatic pain. Various non surgical treatment options are available to treat the compressed sciatic nerve. Doctors may recommend one of the following non surgical methods for the condition.

Heat or ice Packs

Heat or ice packs can help in relief from acute sciatic pain. The packs can reduce the intensity of the leg pain. This method is particularly helpful during the initial stage. The ice is applied for about half an hour every two hours.

Most people find relief from using ice packs. But some find relief from heat packs. The two can also be applied in succession. It’s recommended to apply the ice pack with a towel or cloth placed betw ...

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BPS 6: Sciatica Nerve Pain — What are the Symptoms and Treatment?

Sciatica is a term that is used for leg pain that originates at the lumbar (lower back). In addition, to leg pain, the individual also experiences a numbness and tingling sensation in the area. The pain seems to travel through the buttocks down towards the large sciatic nerve. This nerve is located at the back of each leg.

Keep in mind that sciatica is not a medical condition. Instead, it’s a symptom of a lower back problem. Common lower back problems that can result in sciatic nerve pain include spondylolisthesis, degenerative disc disease, lumbar herniated disc and spinal stenosis.

About the Sciatic Nerve Pain

The sciatic nerve is the largest and the longest nerve in the body. It extends from the lumbosacral plexus and runs through the buttocks and extends into the thigs. The nerve delivers signals to muscles of the things and the lower legs.

The nerve branch out from the spine and then combine to form the sciatic nerve. When this nerve is compressed or irritated near the point of origin, the individual feels symptoms of sciatica.

Sciatica generally occurs in the middle age. It’s more common among people in the 40s and 50s. It rarely occ ...

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BPS 5: What are the Common Symptoms of a Herniated Disc?

A herniated disk is a painful condition that affects the cervical spine, lumbar spine, and the thoracic spine. Each location of the herniated disk pain results in different symptoms. In this article, you will learn about some of the commons symptoms associated with a herniated disc at each location.

1. Symptoms of a Herniated Disc in the Cervical Spine

A herniated disc occurs less commonly in the cervical spine (neck). This is because there is generally less disc material in the area. Symptoms of a herniated disk differ according to the location of the pain at the cervical segment.

At Cervical segment C4-C5 — A herniated disc at this level results in C5 nerve root impingement. Patients tend to feel general weakness in the deltoid muscle of the upper arm and shoulder pain. However, they do not feel any tingling or numbness. At Cervical segment C5-C6 — A herniated disc at this level results in C6 nerve root impingement. This is the most common area of the cervical herniated disc. It can result in pain in the wrist extensor muscles and weakness in the biceps. Individuals also feel tingling and numbness sensation that seems to radiate down to the thumb area ...

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BPS 1: Herniated Disc Pain — Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment…

A herniated disc is one of the common causes of neck and back pains. The term refers to issues with the spinal disc. Different terms may be used to refer to a herniated disk such as a bulging disc, pinched nerve, ruptured disc, slipped disc, and disc protrusion.

So, how does a herniated disc occur? How is the condition diagnosed? What treatment options are available? The answers to these questions will be a focus of this topic.

What is a Herniated Disc Pain?

A herniated disc pain occurs when inflammatory proteins leak out from the inner core of the spinal disk. The condition usually occurs in the lower back (the lumbar spine) and the neck (the cervical spine). Disc pain is most common in the lower back where the spine bears most of the weight. The condition rarely happens in the mid-back (the thoracic spine).

The two common reasons for a herniated disk pain.

Degeneration of the Spinal Disk — One reason for the disk pain is degeneration of the spinal disk. The spinal disk degenerates to a point where it causes instability and pain in the spinal area. This is known as degenerative disk disease. The pain in this case is chronic and centered around t ...

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Robin BackPainExpert

Physiotherapists & Back Pain Expert

Twenty years ago I was lucky to survive a serious hockey injury. In a sport where big men zoomaround on hard ice and solid wood sticks are slung furiously, a difficult back injury is what every player fears.
It took a long time for me to climb back to a normal life. But when I did, I was determined to spend the rest of his life helping back pain victims everywhere.
As a physiotherapist and back pain expert I have treated thousands of patients over 20 years, built a respected back pain clinic, created the site BackPainSecrets.Com and authored the book “Back Pain Secrets.”
Learn more about me here.