Answers to today's medical questions through blogs and articles

Back Pain

What is Facet Arthrosis?

There are many spinal conditions that occur due to aging and facet arthrosis is one of them. Facet arthrosis occurs as the joints located in the spine start to deteriorate and the cartilage in these joints starts to wear away. The cartilage is a very important factor in keeping the back and spine mobile. Cartilage is a type of connective tissue that keeps the bones in a joint from rubbing together; it covers the facet joints and provides protection by intercepting friction or strain. As the body ages the cartilage can wear away and allow the bones in the joint to come into contact with each other. This can lead to pain, stiffness or bone spurs in many individuals.

How does a physician diagnose facet arthrosis?

When a physician or orthopedic doctor suspects facet arthrosis, they will usually order an x-ray of the area. In most cases, this will reveal any abnormal facets. In order to get a more thorough look, the physician may also order a CT scan. This will offer the physician or spine specialist a better look of the spinal structures. In most instances, an MRI will not be required in order to diagnose the spinal condition but when looking for various causes of back pain it may be useful.

What is Lumbar Laminectomy?

Relived legs
Woman’s legs

A lumbar laminectomy is a surgical procedure that is also known as an open decompression. The procedure is designed to relieve the pressure that is on the spinal nerve or spinal cord by opening or widening the spinal canal. During the procedure, the lamina which is a small section of the bone on the spine is removed so that there is more room for the nerves. An open decompression, or lumbar laminectomy is typically suggested by a physician for those patients who suffer from back pain caused by neural impingement. The surgical procedure relieves the pressure by enlarging the spinal canal.

How to Reduce the Risk of Back Pain

Aerobic Exercise
Aerobics

There can be many different risk factors for developing back pain; some of them are controllable while factors like genetics or again which predispose an individual to a specific condition are not. It is not uncommon for back pain to strike an individual that has absolutely no risk factors at all. However, in most cases there are some things that can be done in order to protect oneself. Of course, it is always advisable to discuss any back pain with your primary care physician or other health care professional who is knowledgeable about spine health.

What Causes Back Pain?

Pain in lower back
Back Pain

One of the most common patient complaints is back pain and most of us will experience it at one time or another. The good thing is that about half of those who experience the discomfort of back pain will find relief in about 2 weeks; and nearly all will be relieved of the pain within 3 months time no matter what type of treatment options are pursued. Most of the time back pain is due to muscular strain which is resolved in time since muscles receive plenty of blood flow. A solid supply of blood will bring the needed proteins and nutrients to help healing occur. Back pain can be a minor irritation, or it can be very severe; for many it can be debilitating. For individuals under the age of 45, back pain is the leading cause of disability. It is important to see a physician if back pain is intense, limits your mobility, or cannot be controlled with over the counter medications.