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Lower/Lumbar Back Total Disc Replacement or Fusion Options

Lower/Lumbar Back Total Disc Replacement or Fusion Options

Many doctors/surgeons rely on the widely adopted lumbar spinal fusion. However, experts have asserted that lumbar total disc replacement or TDR should be made available and increased for treating degenerative disc disease and other spinal conditions. Individuals interested in total disc replacement, the ability to have it done, and if insurance will pay? What to know about TDR and fusion before deciding and moving forward.

Lower/Lumbar Back Total Disc Replacement or Fusion Options

Total Disc Replacement

Spinal fusion has been the traditional approach for relieving lower back pain. In this procedure, a bone graft is inserted between two or more vertebrae. This eliminates movement that causes pain or could be dangerous to the individual. Total disc replacement demands more on a technical level than spinal fusion. However, the worn-out, injured, or damaged disc is fully replaced, even a completely degenerated disc, with a metal and/or plastic one. Benefits from lumbar TDR surgery include:

  • Shown to be a safe procedure with minimal complications
  • Significant improvement in health and quality of life
  • High rates of successful outcomes
  • Mobility is preserved

Who Needs Disc Replacement?

Low back problems affect more than a third of the population. This can come from:

  • Personal
  • Work
  • Sports
  • Automobile injuries
  • Aging
  • All are risk factors

Fusion or Total disc replacement

Fusion reduces and eliminates motion around the affected area which also changes with the spine’s mechanics. It can also place increased stress on the surrounding segments. However, the lack of motion is to eliminate the pain. Total disc replacement does increase mobility, but it can’t fully relieve the pain.  It can relieve pain generated from the disc but not from other causes. TDR has been shown to:

  • Provides motion preservation
  • Reduces staying at the hospital
  • Provides long-term durability
  • Lower reoperation rates compared to fusion

Total disc replacement issues:

  • The procedure is more time-consuming
  • A lot of time making decisions
  • A lot of time preparing

An example could be the patient has a narrow disc space. Looking at the X-rays of the discs above and below, the surgeon has to make sure they choose the right size. Next, the narrow space needs to be mobilized back to a normal height that cannot be too high or too short. Finally, the surgeon has to make sure that the disc is anchored and fits properly.

Why Surgeons Still Choose Fusion?

Despite the benefits, there are reasons why surgeons still choose fusion.

  • There are strict rules as to when TDR can be used. This means insurers are prone only to approve fusion procedures.
  • The surgical technique is challenging. TDR surgery is a highly demanding procedure. As a result, many doctors specializing in fusion for 20 years or more can be reluctant to perform the procedure.
  • Complications and revision surgeries. Reoperations are sometimes necessary, but this happens in both fusion and TDR.

Individual Needs

Fortunately, most individuals with lower back problems never need total disc replacement. And those that do have severe pain/conditions are recommended to try non-invasive/surgical treatment. This ranges from:

  • Chiropractic
  • Physical therapy
  • Massage

Imaging and lab tests will be required. However, if an operation is necessary, ask questions about both procedures. For example, if a surgeon insists that fusion is the only option, ask why total disc replacement is not an option?


Body Composition Testing


Protein and Weight Loss

Protein is one of three basic macronutrients found in food. Proteins are made up of smaller units called amino acids. There are 22 amino acids, with 9 of these being essential. This means the body needs them, as the body cannot produce them. These essential amino acids can be obtained by eating protein-rich foods like:

  • Eggs
  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Vegetarian/vegan options include:
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Beans
  • Tofu

Generally, all the essential amino acids cannot be obtained from just one food. Therefore it is recommended to eat a variety of animal and plant-based proteins. Protein is in almost every structure and function of the body.

Antibodies

These proteins fight off any infections, bacteria, etc.

Repair, maintenance, and structural

Proteins are the building blocks of the body’s muscles, bones, skin, and hair.

Hormones

Chemical messenger proteins are how cells and organs communicate. For example, Growth Hormone affects muscle gain and fat loss.

Enzymes

Not all proteins are enzymes; however, all enzymes are proteins. These proteins are catalysts or starters for chemical reactions in the body.

Transportation and storage

Some proteins carry molecules where they are needed. For example, hemoglobin or the red blood cells carry oxygen to cells, then transport carbon dioxide away.

Not getting enough protein in one’s diet can have serious consequences on the body’s health. Without enough protein, the muscles can begin to atrophy or waste away, taking Lean Body Mass, strength, and energy away as well.

General Disclaimer *

The information herein is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified healthcare professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional. Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. In addition, we provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

phone: 915-850-0900

Licensed in: Texas & New Mexico*

References

Salzmann, Stephan N et al. “Lumbar disc replacement surgery-successes and obstacles to widespread adoption.” Current reviews in musculoskeletal medicine vol. 10,2 (2017): 153-159. doi:10.1007/s12178-017-9397-4

Hopkins overview of Lumbar TDR (for consumers) https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/treatment-tests-and-therapies/lumbar-disk-replacement

“Comparison of Lumbar Total Disc Replacement With Surgical Spinal Fusion for the Treatment of Single-Level Degenerative Disc Disease: A Meta-Analysis of 5-Year Outcomes From Randomized Controlled Trials”, Zigler J, et al., Global Spine Journal, June 2018, PMC602295 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6022955/

“Overview of Lumbar TDR” (for consumers); Johns Hopkins Medical Center https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/treatment-tests-and-therapies/lumbar-disk-replacement

Lower Back Muscle Knots Can Be Broken Down With Chiropractic

Lower Back Muscle Knots Can Be Broken Down With Chiropractic

Muscle knots are common and can occur anywhere on the body. They can cause aching and pain in the muscles and joints. When examining a muscle knot also known as myofascial trigger points, it can feel swollen, tense, or like a bump. A particular area where these knots present is in the low back. This happens from excessive wear-and-tear on the lower spine from work, school, daily tasks, and chores. This causes the muscle fibers to tear, and with restricted or no time to rest the area and let it heal properly leads to the fibers bunching/clumping together forming a painful knot.11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Lower Back Muscle Knots Can Be Broken Down With Chiropractic

Muscle Knots In The Lower Back

A muscle knot in the lower back causes aching, soreness, and full-on pain. They tighten and contract even when the muscle is resting. The affected area often becomes inflamed or swollen causing pain and aches to radiate/spread to the gluteal muscles, as well.

Development

These knots develop when the tissue fibers pull apart and bunch up together. They start to stick together and with time the area becomes thicker. This results in the muscle knot. They can be caused by:

  • Stress
  • Tension
  • Poor posture
  • Muscle overuse
  • Muscle strain
  • Sedentary habits

Body dehydration and an unhealthy diet can also contribute to muscle knots. They look like a small bump under the skin. The bump can be red and is usually tender/sore when touched. However, not all muscle knots are visible, but when touched there is soreness and/or pain.

Do They Go Away?

They can go away on their own, but this comes from proper rest and recovery time. However, muscle knots should not be ignored, as even the smallest knot can compress surrounding nerves and muscle tissues. This can cause irritation and weakness. Larger muscle knots could cause movement/mobility issues.

Therapies

Stretching

Stretching will help stretch out and release tight muscle knots. Stretching loosens the muscle fibers and prevents them from becoming attached. Stretches to release a muscle knot include:

Start with these simple stretches/exercises and slowly work up to more vigorous ones.

Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care can break down muscle knots through various adjustments. They are experts on the musculoskeletal system and understand where the problem is occurring along with the connected muscles.

  • A chiropractor will palpate the spot where the most pain presents and the surrounding area.
  • They will begin with a soft massage. This warms up the area getting the blood circulating. The blood circulation helps prevent pain making the adjustment/s far more effective.
  • Then pressing on nearby joints that the muscle knot is connected to breaks up the tight fibers.
  • Then the section/area is stretched out. This extends the fibers and prevents them from winding back into a knot.
  • They will recommend stretches and exercises

Therapeutic Massage

A massage helps to release tension and encourages muscle knots to loosen up and break down. A massage therapist will perform a deep tissue massage or a Swedish massage. Massage helps to release endorphins, which are the body’s natural painkiller. These calm the body and reduce pain. They will also recommend simple massages at home. These can include:

  • Rolling a massage ball/roller on the muscle knot
  • Self-massage using the fingers in circular motions on the affected area

Heat and Ice

Hot and cold therapy can calm and prevent inflammation. Heating pads are best if the area has stiffness or is painful. The heat relaxes tight muscles and increases blood flow. Cold therapy stops the swelling. If the muscle knot gets bigger or begins turning red, icing the area is recommended. Alternating between the two can eliminate symptoms and assist with quicker healing.


Body Composition


Building Functional Strength

There are exercises to improve functional strength. Functional training targets specific areas:

These types of exercises should be incorporated into a workout routine. One exercise is:

Pushup to Arm and Hip Raise

The muscles worked include:

  • Pectoralis major/minor
  • Rectus abdominus
  • Obliques
  • Deep abdominals
  • Hip abductors and rotators
  • Scapula stabilizers

To do the exercise

  • Start with doing a normal pushup.
  • When the top of the movement is reached
  • Lift one arm up, turn the shoulder, and reach up
  • Then lift the outside leg up as high as possible and hold for 10 seconds
  • Repeat on the other side
  • Do 6-10 repetitions on each side

This exercise builds shoulder, arm, and hip strength. It engages the core and abdominal muscles and improves flexibility in the shoulders, back, and hips.

Disclaimer

The information herein is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional. Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the musculoskeletal system’s injuries or disorders. Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, CTG*
email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com
phone: 915-850-0900
Licensed in Texas & New Mexico

References

Cramer, Holger et al. “Postural awareness and its relation to pain: validation of an innovative instrument measuring awareness of body posture in patients with chronic pain.” BMC musculoskeletal disorders vol. 19,1 109. 6 Apr. 2018, doi:10.1186/s12891-018-2031-9

Malanga, Gerard A et al. “Mechanisms and efficacy of heat and cold therapies for musculoskeletal injury.” Postgraduate medicine vol. 127,1 (2015): 57-65. doi:10.1080/00325481.2015.992719

Transverse Myelitis Rare Spinal Cord Disorder Possible Cause Covid-19

Transverse Myelitis Rare Spinal Cord Disorder Possible Cause Covid-19

Covid-19 has impacted everyone in so many ways. There is a possible connection between Covid-19 and a rare spinal disorder known as transverse myelitis. There have been three known cases of acute transverse myelitis brought on from covid-19. Although these case reports are not enough to prove that covid is the cause for transverse myelitis, researchers are delving into the possibility of a connection between the virus and this spinal condition.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Transverse Myelitis Rare Spinal Cord Disorder Possible Cause Covid-19
 

Transverse Myelitis

Transverse myelitis causes inflammation of the spinal cord. It can be caused by
  • Infections
  • Immune system disorders
  • Disorders that damage/destroy myelin
Myelin is the layer that forms around nerve cell axons or the wiring of the nervous system and insulates them. It consists of protein, fatty substances, and acts as a defensive sheath that allows electrical impulses to transmit properly. The insulation properties are essential for:
  • Proper motor function
  • Sensory function
  • Cognition
 
Without the insulation, the electrical impulses traveling through the spinal cord dissipate or weaken. The messages don’t reach the nerves and can lead to:
  • Muscle spasms
  • Twitching
  • Numbness
The most common disorder that destroys the myelin known as demyelination is multiple sclerosis. Transverse myelitis can affect individuals of:
  • Any race
  • Gender
  • Age
There are treatments, but there is no cure. Treatments consist of corticosteroids and other therapies to suppress the immune system. However, their focus is on preventing and minimizing permanent neurological damage.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Transverse Myelitis Rare Spinal Cord Disorder Possible Cause Covid-19
 

Recognizing and Identifying

Symptoms of transverse myelitis can include:
  • Pain that usually starts in the lower back and causes shooting pain/sensations down the legs, arm, and torso
  • Leg/s and arm/s weakness
  • Sensory changes in the legs, torso, and genital area
  • Bladder and Bowel dysfunction
  • Muscle spasms
  • General discomfort
  • Headaches
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
Depending on the segment of the spine where the damage is occurring will determine which parts of the body are affected. Diagnosis begins with a thorough medical evaluation. A doctor will utilize various methods. A thorough neurological exam will be performed to rule out any issues that require emergency intervention. If a doctor suspects transverse myelitis they will order diagnostic tests like:
  • Magnetic resonance imaging or an MRI
  • Blood tests
  • Lumbar puncture

Treatment

As previously stated, there is no cure for transverse myelitis, and treatment focuses on managing complications. Treatments can include:
  • Pain medication
  • Antiviral medications
  • Intravenous corticosteroids
  • Immunomodulating agents
  • Plasma exchange therapy
  • Intravenous immunoglobin treatment
The hard facts are that while most people with transverse myelitis have at least a partial recovery, for some, however, recovery can continue for up to two years and longer. A combination of medications, chiropractic, and physical therapy can help improve physical symptoms. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke is working to understand the process, as to how the immune system destroys or attacks myelin. Hopefully, this will lead to answers, improved treatment, and prevention. It is well-documented that Multiple sclerosis, bacterial infections, and other viruses can cause transverse myelitis, research must continue to see if there is a connection to covid-19.

Chiropractic Lower Back Pain Treatment


Dr. Alex Jimenez�s Blog Post Disclaimer

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas& New Mexico*
References
Chakraborty, Uddalak et al. �COVID-19-associated acute transverse myelitis: a rare entity.��BMJ case reports�vol. 13,8 e238668. 25 Aug. 2020, doi:10.1136/bcr-2020-238668
Disc Pain and Nerve Root Pain Understanding Spinal Disc Problems

Disc Pain and Nerve Root Pain Understanding Spinal Disc Problems

Back or disc pain is becoming increasingly common for individuals of all ages. The spinal discs are prone to injury because of the extreme amount of pressure/stress placed on the lower back and neck. Fortunately, most cases of back pain heal on their own, while others can cause long-term chronic pain that can be difficult to manage, without proper treatment.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Disc Pain and Nerve Root Pain Understanding Spinal Disc Problems
 
Different types of pain can be caused by problems with the spinal discs. The spinal discs are elastic sections of the spine that sit between the vertebrae. They are made up of materials called annulus fibrosus on the outside and a gel-like material called nucleus pulposus on the inside.  
 
These discs are flexible, which allows for a range of motion to the spine and body shock absorption to increase comfort when in motion. When an individual visits a chiropractor, the practitioner will not know the exact cause of the pain, but only that it hurts around a certain area. Our spinal experts will help individuals understand the different types of ailments or conditions that could be affecting the spine. Then a customized treatment plan can be developed.  

Disc problems

Spinal disc pain has two major sources of pain related to spinal discs: They are disc degeneration and nerve root pain. They are most common in the neck and the lower back. Individuals need to be informed of the difference to understand what is happening with the spine and potential treatment options to alleviate the pain and heal the problem.  

Degenerative disc disease

Degenerative disc disease is when the spinal discs begin to dry out and deteriorate. The discs start to shrink and can tear, which leaves that segment with little or no cushioning. This can cause pain, as well as inflammation of the surrounding muscles and joints. Disc degeneration usually presents with low levels of consistent pain and occasional severe flare-ups.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Disc Pain and Nerve Root Pain Understanding Spinal Disc Problems
 
A chiropractor can utilize spinal manipulation to restore alignment, function, and mobility of the affected joint. Massages stretches and exercises will help alleviate the tension in the surrounding muscles along with strengthening them for better support.  

Nerve root pain

Nerve root pain does not take place within the disc but is usually caused by a bulging or herniated disc. This condition can be called a slipped disc or pinched nerve, affect the nerves that are in close proximity to the neck and lower vertebrae.  
 
The pain can lead to numbness, tingling, and weakness along the path of the nerve, and radiate out to the arms and legs. A bulging disc is when the spinal disc progressively protrudes through a narrow opening.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Disc Pain and Nerve Root Pain Understanding Spinal Disc Problems
 
This can irritate any nearby nerve roots causing inflammation and pain. If the disc herniates or breaks through then the outer protective material tears, letting the cushion/gel leak out and come in contact with the nerve root/s, which could also cause pinching and inflammation. Treatment for a bulging or herniated disc includes:
  • Spinal manipulation
  • Corrective exercises
  • Physical therapy
  • Massage
  • Diet adjustments
These treatments can help realign the disc/s, moving them away from any nerves, and minimizing inflammation.  

Proper Identification and Diagnosis

Spinal disc problems can be similar in their pain and symptoms. For example, degenerative disc disease can weaken the spinal discs to such a degree that nerve root pain follows creating a dual combination of pain. The conditions require various approaches and treatment methods often done in combination. However, they require a proper diagnosis to create a proper and custom treatment program for every individual. This will ensure the root cause of the disc pain is properly identified and handled. Call us to learn more.

Skateboarding Injury Treatment


 

Dr. Alex Jimenez�s Blog Post Disclaimer

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas& New Mexico*
References
Browning, J E. �Chiropractic distractive decompression in the treatment of pelvic pain and organic dysfunction in patients with evidence of lower sacral nerve root compression.��Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics�vol. 11,5 (1988): 426-32.
Belly Dancing Can Help Alleviate Back Pain

Belly Dancing Can Help Alleviate Back Pain

Belly dancing has been found to be an effective way to help individuals managing low back pain. It could be utilized as a part of a chiropractic treatment plan. The dancing is beneficial for improving posture and allows an individual to improve their fitness with a light form of aerobic exercise.
 
Regular physical activity/exercise and a healthy lifestyle go hand in hand. For individuals with spinal issues, the right stretches and exercises can make a difference in their quality of life. It increases:
  • Strength
  • Flexibility
  • Helps with pain management
  • Improves posture
  • Maintains spinal alignment
Belly dancing can help with injury recovery, as well as overall health. For most the trouble with exercising regularly is that it becomes routine and boring. Individuals want to live healthily, but it can be a challenge to maintain interest and motivation. An alternative form of physical activity that qualifies as exercise could be the answer. Dancing has grown in popularity because of its fitness, flexibility, and spinal benefits. This form of belly dancing exercise does not require any special outfit or plenty of space. This utilizes the movements as a form of stretching and keeping the body moving in an aerobic fashion. They can be done at home with video instruction or an online class. Although the majority are women, men can and do belly dance.

Belly Dance

Information on the history of belly dancing. The dance has gone through various transformations since its inception. It was once considered burlesque entertainment, is now recognized as an important cultural expression, and today has been found to be a respected form of dance exercise.
 

Exercise

Belly dancing as physical exercise involves: Isometric exercises are contract specific muscles or groups of muscles. These types of exercise help with strength and stability enhancement. Both are vital for individuals recovering from back injuries or back pain management.

Posture

Dance posture is different than normal standing or sitting posture. Dance posture refers to the way an individual prepares/maintains their body to perform specific movements so that the motions are fluid, graceful, and with no presentation of pain. Belly dance posture maintains proper spinal alignment, which encourages reduced stress/pressure on the joints. This is beneficial for individuals managing back problems. The keys to spinal success are:
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Belly Dancing Can Help Alleviate Back Pain
 
When the abdominal and back muscles maintain/support a straight spine, this alleviates stress on the low back. Lower back issues have shown a positive response to a belly dance exercise therapy program. A study looked at the effects of belly dancing on pain and function in women with chronic lower back pain. The study found that belly dancing made movements of the trunk and pelvis that are known to influence low back pain much easier. A belly dance program in conjunction with a chiropractic or physical therapy treatment plan can help alleviate pain and improve function. A 45-minute belly dance routine/session promotes aerobic benefits, improves flexibility and core strength.

Core Strength

These are movements that train the muscles in the:
  • Pelvis
  • Abdomen
  • Hips
  • Low back
They help build strength, generate stability, protect against back pain, poor posture, and muscle injuries. Having core strength is crucial for individuals with back issues, as it increases the stabilization of the spine. Core strengthening is highly recommended and often prescribed for individuals recovering from lumbar issues.
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Belly Dancing Can Help Alleviate Back Pain
 

Depression/Anxiety Improvement

Individuals with back pain also tend to experience psychological issues like depression and anxiety. Back pain can affect:
  • Mood
  • Tiredness
  • Sleep problems
  • Self-esteem problems
Belly dancing as part of a treatment/therapy program can help an individual experience benefits that improve mental health and well-being. These include:
  • Regaining mobility
  • Having a positive body image
  • Social interaction is enhanced

For All Ages

Belly dancing is a fantastic creative outlet and a great way to exercise. Anyone that is able can participate. Children, seniors, and everyone in between can get into belly dancing. It enhances health and strengthens the body and mind. When the body is in the proper position/posture there are no joint issues or pain. In-person classes, at home with online instruction, DVDs, or video meeting apps can benefit the body and especially the spine.
 

Life-Changing Orthotics

 
 

Dr. Alex Jimenez�s Blog Post Disclaimer

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas& New Mexico*
The Lumbosacral Joint and Possible Cause For Sciatic Nerve Pain

The Lumbosacral Joint and Possible Cause For Sciatic Nerve Pain

The lumbosacral joint is the first place chiropractors start their investigation with individuals presenting with low back pain and possible sciatica. Because of the importance of the sciatic nerve, almost any lumbar condition has the potential to disturb the nerve that can lead to chronic nerve pain. For many low back conditions, the best way to start is from the bottom and work up.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 The Lumbosacral Joint and Possible Cause For Sciatic Nerve Pain
 
Starting at the lumbosacral joint L5-S1, the chiropractor will palpate and massage the area. This is because the lumbosacral joint is a central nerve center with all kinds of possible sciatic nerve interference because of the proximity to the various nerve bundles and vertebral discs.  
 
When sciatic nerve issues begin to develop, often the problem will be in this region of the spine. Beginning at the lumbosacral joint can generate vast insight into the root cause of radiating pain in the lower back and legs.  

The Lumbosacral Joint

This pain typically presents when the nerve is inflamed, compressed, or irritated. Numbness or chronic weakness can also happen in the lower extremities and can cause unbearable discomfort. Some of the reasons that make the joint a prime suspect for sciatic pain include:
  • The L5 vertebrae are vulnerable to slipping forward over the connecting S1 vertebrae. The sciatic nerve goes through this area, leaving it open to compression.
  • A disc herniation and/or inflammation can also stress the sciatic nerves.
  • Deterioration of the lumbosacral facet joints is common with older individuals. This can lead to nerve compression and sciatic nerve irritation.
  • Piriformis syndrome can affect the area around the lumbosacral joint, causing nerve compression and inflammation.
The lumbosacral joint is frequently used making it a consistently stressed joint. Overuse, poor posture, and improper body mechanics affect this region of the lumbar spine. And, because of the closeness to the sciatic nerve, it is commonly affected.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 The Lumbosacral Joint and Possible Cause For Sciatic Nerve Pain
 

Other Spinal Conditions

The lumbosacral joint also experiences problems that stem from chronic conditions, which can involve some form of sciatic pain as a symptom. They include:
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Lumbar stenosis
  • Sacroiliac joint dysfunction
  • Spondylolisthesis
Sciatica is a condition that represents a series of symptoms. But it is often a symptom of other condition/s that affect the sciatic nerve. If spinal conditions progress, it can bring undue stress and strain to the lumbosacral joint and the sciatic nerve.  

Knowing Where To Begin

The key to a proper and successful treatment plan is an accurate diagnosis. Knowing and understanding the symptoms, spinal conditions, and having an idea of the origin of these types of pain promotes a rapid diagnosis. Our chiropractic and physical therapy team thoroughly investigate the pain source using imaging, palpation, observation, and other diagnostic tools to help get individuals back on track and healthy.

Facet Syndrome Chiropractic Treatment


 

Dr. Alex Jimenez�s Blog Post Disclaimer

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas& New Mexico*
References
Grgi?, Vjekoslav. �Lumbosakralni fasetni sindrom: funkcijski i organski poreme?aji lumbosakralnih fasetnih zglobova� [Lumbosacral facet syndrome: functional and organic disorders of lumbosacral facet joints].�Lijecnicki vjesnik�vol. 133,9-10 (2011): 330-6.
Underlying Causes: Abdominal Aneurysm and Sciatica Misdiagnosis

Underlying Causes: Abdominal Aneurysm and Sciatica Misdiagnosis

Underlying causes for an abdominal aortic aneurysm can be challenging to diagnose and identify. Combined with sciatica symptoms, doctors could misdiagnose the ailment and prescribe the wrong treatment protocol. Then an individual has to deal with two conditions that were not properly diagnosed, continue to develop, and worsen. This is why finding the right sciatica specialist that can also identify an abdominal aneurysm is so crucial to developing the right treatment plan. There can be a variety of factors that can lead to the development of an abdominal aneurysm. They include:
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Underlying Causes: Abdominal Aneurysm and Sciatica Misdiagnosis

Abdominal Aneurysm Contributing Health Conditions

Health conditions associated with an increased risk for an abdominal aneurysm include:

Atherosclerosis

This condition occurs when there is a buildup of fats, cholesterol, and other substances that create plaque buildup in the bloodstream. This causes vessels to harden and narrow. Atherosclerosis can develop during the young adult stage and becomes an issue later in life.

High Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-type substance that is found in all the cells in the body. The body needs some cholesterol for the production of hormones, vitamin D, and substances to help digest foods. The body makes all the cholesterol it needs. Too much can build up in the blood vessels, which narrows the bloodstream and hardens the arterial walls.
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Underlying Causes: Abdominal Aneurysm and Sciatica Misdiagnosis

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure or hypertension refers to a sustained increased force of blood moving through the aorta that can weaken artery walls. It is a common condition that is widespread among individuals that are older, those that smoke, and those that are overweight. There is an estimated 60-70% of individuals over 60 that are diagnosed with high blood pressure.

Inflamed Arteries

When the arteries become inflamed, it can cause blood flow constriction and cause the arterial walls to weaken. This increases the risk of an aneurysm. Arteries can get inflamed through:
  • Genetics
  • High cholesterol
  • Trauma/injury to the abdomen
  • Arterial Disease/s like:
  1. Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
  2. Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm
  3. Peripheral Arterial Disease
  4. Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
  5. Vasculitis
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Underlying Causes Of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm and Sciatica Risks

Connective Tissue Disorders

There are hereditary conditions that can weaken the body�s connective tissues. This can lead to degeneration of the aortic walls and raise an individual�s risk for an aneurysm. Two of the most common connective tissue disorders are Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, which affects collagen production, and Marfan Syndrome. This condition increases the production of fibrillin, which is a protein that helps to build the elastic fibers in connective tissue.

Other Risk Factors

Additional health factors can strain the cardiovascular system. This increases the risk of weakening or damaging blood vessels. This significantly raises the chances of developing an abdominal aortic aneurysm. Risk factors include:

Smoking and Tobacco

All types of tobacco use can contribute to diminished cardiovascular health. Individuals that smoke or use some tobacco product pose a significantly higher risk of developing an abdominal aneurysm.

Age

Aneurysms occur most often in older adults. This is because they are more likely to have cardiovascular issues and are more likely to have higher levels of plaque buildup.

Genetics and Family History

Immediate relatives of an individual with an abdominal aneurysm often have a 12-19% chance of developing the condition.

Lack of Physical Activity

Not getting adequate physical activity puts an individual at a higher risk for heart and cardiovascular disease. Aerobic activity done on a regular basis increases the heart rate and blood flow through the body. This keeps the tissues and blood vessels strong and flowing properly.

Gender

Both men and women can develop an abdominal aortic aneurysm. However, the majority of those that do develop the condition are men. This is because men are more likely to go through the heart and cardiovascular issues.

Diagnosis

Underlying conditions that can cause sciatic pain can vary or be a combination of several conditions. The most important action to take is to consult a doctor or chiropractic sciatica specialist for a clinical diagnosis. While rare, sciatica-type pain could be caused by medical conditions like:
  • Spinal tumor
  • Spinal infection
  • Cauda equina syndrome
These factors can contribute to an increased chance of developing an abdominal aortic aneurysm. However, individuals can have unknown risk factors and still develop the condition. Treatments may range from regular monitoring, lifestyle changes, and physical therapy/chiropractic to urgent or emergency surgery. If you feel symptoms of pain in the buttocks, leg, numbness, tingling, or other neurological symptoms in the back and/or leg, it is very important to see a doctor or chiropractor for clinical diagnosis that identifies the cause of the symptoms.

Sciatic Nerve Treatment

 
 

Dr. Alex Jimenez�s Blog Post Disclaimer

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas& New Mexico*
Sacrum and Coccyx Vertebrae Possible Cause of Low Back Pain

Sacrum and Coccyx Vertebrae Possible Cause of Low Back Pain

The sacrum and coccyx are part of the vertebral spinal column and could contribute to low back pain. They are not like the other bones in the spinal column. The sacrum, also known as the sacral vertebra, sacral spine, and S1 is a large, flat triangular-shaped bone that is between the hip bones and below the last lumbar vertebra known as L5. The coccyx, known as the tailbone, is positioned below the sacrum. The sacrum and coccyx are made up of smaller bones that fuse and grow into a solid bone mass by the age of 30. The sacrum is composed of 5 fused vertebrae known as S1-S5 and 3 to 5 smaller bones that fuse creating the coccyx. Both are weight-bearing bones and are integral to walking, standing, and sitting functions.  
 
StructureoftheSacrumDiagram ElPasoChiropractor
 

Sacrum and the Lumbosacral Spine

The sacrum forms the back of the pelvis. Along with the coccyx and the two sacroiliac joints make up the pelvic girdle. S1 is at the top of the sacrum and connects to the last lumbar vertebrae L5. Together they create the lumbosacral spine. Where they join forms the lumbosacral curves known as lumbar lordosis and lumbar kyphosis. The curvature works to support the upper body, weight/force distribution maintains spinal balance and flexibility. Lordosis is the inward curve of the spine, but too much can cause swayback that can be associated with spondylolisthesis. Loss of this curve can cause spinal imbalance and can lead to Flatback syndrome.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Sacrum and Coccyx Vertebrae Possible Cause of Low Back Pain
 
Kyphosis is the outward curve of the spine. The location of the sacrum at the intersection of the spine and pelvis means it has an important role in the movement of the low back and hips. The sacrum�s joints help to bear weight and help stabilize the spinal column along with the ligaments, tendons, and muscles help support/stabilize joint movement.

Lumbosacral joint

Joint L5 and S1 connect the lumbar spine to the sacrum. The pressure at this meeting point can be massive as the curve of the spine shifts from the lordotic forward curve to a kyphotic backward curve. The L5-S1 region bears weight, absorbs, and distributes the upper body�s weight when moving and resting. Disc herniation and spondylolisthesis are more common at L5-S1 for this reason.

Sacroiliac joints

The sacroiliac joints connect the sacrum to the left and right sides of the pelvis. The range of movement of the sacroiliac joints is minimal compared to other joints like the knees. However, the joints are essential for walking, standing, and stabilization of the hips. Sacroiliitis and sacroiliac joint dysfunction are two spinal disorders related to the joints. Other spinal disorders related to the sacral spine include:
  • Sciatica
  • Tarlov cysts
  • Spinal chordoma, a common type of spine bone cancer

The Coccyx�s Function

The coccyx commonly known as the tailbone is just below the sacrum. It is smaller than the sacrum and has an important weight-bearing function. It helps supports weight while sitting. An example is leaning back while sitting. This motion and position increase the pressure/weight on the coccyx. An injury in this area can cause tailbone pain. Inflammation of the coccyx�s connective tissue that results in tailbone pain that gets worse when sitting is a common symptom. A traumatic event like a fall or auto accident that causes a tailbone fracture can also cause this pain.

Sacral and Coccygeal Nerves

The spinal cord ends at L1-L2, which branches out into the cauda equina, which is a bundle of nerves that looks like a horse’s tail. In the sacrum, there are sacral nerves known as the sacral plexus. Plexus means a network of nerve structures. The sacral and lumbar plexus compose the lumbosacral plexus. This is where the sciatic nerve, which is the largest nerve in the sacral plexus converges into the band. Sciatic nerve compression causes a combination of symptoms known as sciatica. It is very well known for causing low back and leg pain. The coccygeal nerve serves the tailbone. There are five sacral nerves numbered S1 through S5 and are part of the spinal cord.
  • S1 supports groin and hip function
  • S2 the back of the thighs
  • S3 the middle of the buttock area
  • S4 and S5 the anus and vagina
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Sacrum and Coccyx Vertebrae Possible Cause of Low Back Pain
 
Injury or trauma to the sacral spine can cause mild stress fractures to severe bone fractures. These fractures can cause sacral nerve compression and intense pain. Symptoms include:
  • Low back pain
  • Leg pain
  • Bowel dysfunction
  • Bladder dysfunction
  • Unusual buttock/s or groin sensations
  • Osteoporosis or spinal inflammatory arthritis increases the risk of a sacral fracture.

Sacrum and Coccyx Injury Prevention

A doctor or chiropractor, physical therapist are excellent sources for information to help prevent sacrum and coccyx pain. These medical professionals will utilize a patient’s medical history, recommend lifestyle changes and injury prevention guidelines.
  • If at risk of developing osteoporosis then a bone mineral density test could be recommended.
  • Activities that stress the lower spine should be avoided. Extreme flexing could cause or contribute to low back/leg pain, numbness, and weakness.
  • Moderate exercising like walking, jogging, yoga, and strength training all help keep the spine strong, flexible, and healthy.
  • The core or abdominal muscles should be strengthened. Proper core muscle strength will stabilize the sacrum.
  • Proper posture must be maintained. Avoid slouching as this places added pressure on the lumbosacral spine and the sacroiliac joints.
  • Proper body mechanics when engaging in any activity needs to be observed.
  • Use leg strength to lift objects.
  • Avoid twisting while lifting or holding heavy objects, as this can cause sprain, strain, or serious injury of the lower spine.
  • Put on the seat belt. Auto accidents are a major cause of spine trauma. Exercise restraint when driving or riding in any vehicle even a golf cart.

Sciatica Pain Relief


 

Dr. Alex Jimenez�s Blog Post Disclaimer

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas& New Mexico*
Women With Low Back Pain and Possible Causes

Women With Low Back Pain and Possible Causes

Women experiencing low back pain will find there are a variety of possible causes. Lower back pain can stem from the reproductive system or the spine itself. Finding the possible cause of low back pain can be difficult to diagnose. As well as, pinpointing the pain can be a very challenging task. Women wonder how it’s possible to mistake menstrual cramps for back pain and then it happens to them. There are certain conditions that make the low back and core region a central location of continual pain. And unfortunately, women could be more susceptible.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Women With Low Back Pain and Possible Causes
 
Most individuals will experience low back pain at some point during their life. However, there is a slight prevalence and is more common in females than males across all ages. Low back pain in women increases with age. A research comparison studying middle-aged individuals reported an increase of low back pain in females versus males post-menopause. Some possible low back pain causes include.

Menopause and Hormone Issues

Chronic lower back pain is one of the most reported musculoskeletal issues women face during menopause. About sixty-seventy percent of perimenopausal women present symptoms associated with estrogen deficiency. And over half in perimenopause report chronic musculoskeletal pain. Many of these studies show increasing menopausal symptoms and the correlation to chronic low back pain symptoms.

Menstruation and Uterine Dysfunction

Dysmenorrhea is a uterine dysfunction that involves frequent and severe cramping during menstruation, which often leads to low back pain. The condition is classified as primary or secondary. Both types include low back pain as a common symptom. Primary dysmenorrhea starts when a woman begins menstruation and continues throughout their life. Intense contractions can cause continual and severe menstrual cramping. Secondary dysmenorrhea usually starts later and is caused by another condition like endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease.

Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a condition that can contribute to back pain in women. Tissue that behaves like endometrial tissue begins to grow outside of the uterus, in the pelvic cavity or other areas. The new tissue responds to the body’s hormonal changes and can cause swelling, pain, spotting, and bleeding. Endometriosis growths bleed monthly as well. Without a place for the blood to go, the excess irritates and inflames the surrounding tissue. The condition can cause heavy periods, chronic pain, and scar tissue build-up. Symptoms can present at any menstrual cycle stage. Pelvic pain that runs down the legs is common. Some women have also reported throbbing, shooting pain that can be mild to severe. Symptoms include:
  • Abdominal pain
  • Low back pain
  • Pain when walking or standing
  • Pain during ovulation
  • Pain when urinating
  • Urinary urgency
  • Pelvic inflammation
  • Constipation
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Bowel movement pain
  • Rectal pain that radiates
  • Pain caused by scar tissue build-up within the bladder, fallopian tubes, bowels, and ovaries
  • Chronic fatigue
Endometriosis can be diagnosed by a doctor during an initial pelvic exam. Further imaging tests to assist in the identification could be requested.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Women With Low Back Pain and Possible Causes
 

Spinal Issues

The reproductive organs can sometimes contribute to back pain. However, women can also be susceptible to degenerative conditions that affect the spine’s structure. Low back pain is common with an average patient experiencing one to two episodes a year. Low back pain can start in early adulthood and become a chronic problem that can be triggered by various events or activities. Most back pain issues are resolved within six weeks. This is known as acute low back pain. When the pain doesn’t stop for more than 12 weeks it is considered chronic lower back pain.

Postmenopausal Compression Fractures

Around twenty-five percent of women will go through a vertebral compression fracture of the middle or lower spine. The risks increase with age, with around a 40 percent chance at 80 years of age. Small cracks in the vertebrae can cause severe disability and limit function. Osteoporosis is the most common cause of vertebral compression fracture/s. Postmenopausal women are at an increase of developing osteoporosis. This comes from hormonal changes that decrease bone mineral density, leaving the bones open to fracture.

Spondylolisthesis

This is when one vertebral body, or the thick oval bone segment in front of the vertebra, slips against an adjacent body. The result is pain or mechanical symptoms. The pain can spread throughout the spine to the hip, buttocks, into the legs, and possibly the foot. The condition can be congenital, from an unknown cause, or acquired. There is some research on childbirth and hysterectomies putting women at risk for spondylolisthesis. It is common in the lumbar spine/lower back, but can also present in the cervical spine/neck region. The thoracic/middle spine is extremely rare except in trauma cases. The thoracic spine is the longest region of the spine. It is between the cervical and lumbar regions. One cause of the increased pain is longer times spent sitting in chairs that are not ergonomic. A second is being confined to smaller workspaces. The key is to get up and move around or use a sit-stand desk to alternate sitting and standing. Irregular and localized low back pain is typical for low back spondylolisthesis. The pain usually worsens when the area/region is flexed or directly touched.

Piriformis Syndrome

Back pain sometimes isn�t back pain, but piriformis syndrome. The piriformis muscle is a small muscle that extends from the lower spine to the top of the femur. It can involuntarily contract and compress or irritate the sciatic nerve. The muscle helps rotate and turn the leg and foot outward. Symptoms are consistent with sciatica. It typically presents with buttock pain that shoots, aches, or throbs along the leg�s backside, thigh, calf, and foot. Tingling along the nerve along with numbness is common. Causes include:
  • Buttock injury
  • Hip injury
  • Weight training specifically the gluteal/buttock, hips, and hamstrings
  • Sitting for a long time – Examples include truck drivers, desk job workers, etc.
  • Damage to the piriformis muscle
  • Sciatic nerve wraps around the piriformis muscle
piriformis detail
 

Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

Sacroiliac joint dysfunction involves inflammation of the joints, located at the connection of the pelvis and lower spine. It can present as low back or buttock pain that radiates down the leg/s. The pain worsens when climbing stairs or standing for an extended amount of time. Sacroiliac joint dysfunction can be tough to diagnose, as it is often mistaken for other low back pain causes.

SI joint dysfunction causes:

  • Pregnancy – the increased weight and altered movement/s can cause additional stress and wear.
  • Joint infection – in rare cases, the joints can be subject to infection.
  • Arthritis – the joints can develop arthritis from normal wear and tear.
  • Traumatic Injury – the joints can be injured from a forceful impact from a fall or auto accident.
Most cases do not end up requiring medication or surgery. It is when the pain lasts more than six weeks that there could be something more taking place like neurologic symptoms or other conditions, spinal or otherwise.

Personalized Chiropractic Spine Treatment


 

Dr. Alex Jimenez�s Blog Post Disclaimer

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas& New Mexico*
Chiropractic for Lower Lumbar Back Pain

Chiropractic for Lower Lumbar Back Pain

An overview of chiropractic treatment for lower lumbar back pain, how it works, how safe it is, and how often treatment is necessary. Along with the principles of chiropractic for the relief of lower/lumbar back pain, whether acute or chronic. Seeing a doctor of chiropractic/DC, a chiropractor�or a chiropractic physician can be highly beneficial towards effectively treating low back pain. �

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Chiropractic for Lower Lumbar Back Pain

Practice

Chiropractic medicine utilizes a variety of treatments/therapies that are designed to manipulate/adjust the:

  • Spine
  • Joints
  • Tissues

These treatments focus on the entire body to relieve pain and improve functional ability. This is referred to as spinal manipulative therapy or SMT, but there are many other treatment methods and techniques.

Every chiropractor has a personal treatment approach based on the patient’s condition/s, medical history, and personalized treatment plan. A chiropractor will begin traditionally starting off with soft, natural, less-invasive treatments. If these do not generate positive results they will move on to more aggressive techniques.

Consent Form

At every stage of the chiropractic process, there is a strict emphasis maintained on proactively discussing with the patient exactly what is taking place and what is going to happen. A chiropractor makes sure that the patient understands everything that occurs during:

  • Diagnosis
  • Examination
  • Procedure/s

This is all done in order to educate the patient and receive direct permission to start the treatment. The emphasis on informed consent is essential. This is because some chiropractic techniques could carry material risk. This means that a certain technique or particular procedure could possibly cause injury.

A chiropractor also informs the patient of the possible risks of not being treated. It is not meant to scare a patient. It is to eliminate any misunderstandings and make sure that the patient has full control over their body, so they can make an informed decision, as to which way they want to go. �

 

back pain chiropractic treatment el paso tx.

Examination

A chiropractor will thoroughly examine a patient before making any sort of diagnosis or treatment plan. The assessment can include:

Medical history

The characteristics of the pain, any red flag symptoms that require further diagnostic testing will be conducted to remove any potentially serious medical issues that can be associated with neck or lower lumbar back pain-like:

  • Neurological disorders
  • Fractures
  • Infections
  • Tumors

There can be many reasons as to why low lumbar back pain happens. A chiropractor will investigate and develop a personally customized treatment plan. Next, a physical exam will be performed. This includes an orthopedic and neurological exam. These will test the:

  • Reflexes
  • Sensory nerves
  • Joints
  • Muscles
  • Other areas of the body

Advanced Diagnostic Testing

Imaging and laboratory tests are not always used for non-specific lower lumbar back pain, but they could be necessary if there are signs/symptoms of an underlying condition.

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Chiropractic for Lower Lumbar Back Pain

Severity/Duration of Condition

Chiropractic medicine looks at the symptoms and conditions of an injury or ailment and classifies them on how severe they are, and how long they last. Symptoms can be divided into degrees of severity: They are:

  • Mild
  • Moderate
  • Severe

For the duration period, pain and other symptoms are referred to as:

  • Acute pain – lasts for less than 6 weeks
  • Subacute – lasts between 6 and 12 weeks
  • Chronic – lasts for at least 12 weeks
  • Flare-ups – the same symptoms happen irregularly or from an exacerbation of the original injury

Treatment Trial

If an individual is dealing with acute or subacute lower lumbar back pain, then a chiropractic trial could be an option. This could be two to three weekly sessions over the course of two to four weeks adding up to twelve total sessions. This can be a sufficient treatment to completely alleviate the pain. However, when the pain does not go away then additional treatments could be necessary, especially if an individual has other issues/conditions.

Measured Outcomes

Outcome measurements are a valuable tool because they help determine whether or not the treatment is producing significant results. Some outcome measurements of treatments include:

  • Numeric Pain Scale for patients to rate the pain
  • Pain diagram so patients can describe the location and character of the pain
  • Increases and decreases in normal daily practices, like work, exercise, and sleep
  • Testing functions
  • Lifting ability
  • Strength
  • Flexibility
  • Endurance

For some low lumbar back pain could last and go over the 12-week mark making it a chronic pain condition. A chiropractor will look for signs/symptoms to see if there is a risk of developing chronic pain. �

Chiropractic How Often

When the pain is acute lower lumbar back pain, a standard treatment plan can be six to ten sessions over the course of two to four weeks. These treatments emphasize the passive non-exercise approach of manual therapy for relieving pain and improving function.

If the non-exercise method doesn’t deliver positive results then a more active exercise-based treatment can be utilized to increase function and return an individual back to normal life.

Back Pain That Doesn’t Go Away

Often acute symptoms are resolved within the first 4-weeks. But it is possible that the pain can become chronic, meaning that it lasts longer than 12 weeks. Some individuals can hit a plateau during the recovery process.

This is referred to as MTB or that the patient has met the therapeutic benefits. A chiropractor will want to see if pausing/stopping chiropractic treatment will have a residual effect, exacerbate the pain, or reduce function and activity.

Example: If mild to severe chronic lower lumbar back pain has worsened, a patient could need one to six more visits with each pain episode. And this would be two to three weekly treatments for two to four weeks. However, patients rarely need continuing or ongoing care of one to four visits per month.

Re-Evaluation

Chiropractors will not continue treatment/s if they are not helping the patient. Therefore, every 2 to 4 weeks there is a re-evaluation of the patient to see if the treatment is still having a positive and beneficial effect. Here are some of the criteria for continuing treatment:

  • Individual still responds positively to the treatment
  • The individual has met the therapeutic benefits and worsens when they are not treated
  • Proof shows that self-care alone will not be sufficient to maintain the therapeutic benefits

Continuing Treatment

Living with chronic lower lumbar back pain can be a challenge, but chiropractors want to emphasize to individuals that self-care is an essential component for pain management. This includes physical rehabilitation combined with range-of-motion exercises. A chiropractic physician may encourage a variety of treatment options, like:

  • Acupuncture
  • Massage therapy
  • Crossfit Rehabilitation
  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Health coaching
  • Psychosocial counseling
  • Other beneficial treatment options

Chiropractic treatment and the benefits are different for everybody. This is why it is important to communicate with your chiropractor every step of the way and to be open-minded about the different treatment options they offer.


Lower Back Pain Chiropractic Treatment

 

 


 

Dr. Alex Jimenez�s Blog Post Disclaimer

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas*& New Mexico*�

Bertolotti Syndrome Unusual Suspect in Lower Back Pain

Bertolotti Syndrome Unusual Suspect in Lower Back Pain

Bertolotti syndrome is something has not been heard of when it comes to lower back pain, but diagnostic work has uncovered a common congenital condition. Back pain is experienced at some point by all of us. Around two-thirds of the population will develop low back pain in their life, and more than half will develop chronic low back pain or pain that has lasted more than six months. Low back pain can be challenging in finding the root cause. Diagnostic work is required through� X-rays and MRIs. These tests can identify a lesser-known cause of mechanical low back pain called Bertolotti syndrome.

 

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Bertolotti Syndrome Unusual Suspect in Lower Back Pain

 

Bertolotti Syndrome

This congenital condition’s name comes from Italian physician Mario Bertolotti. It is in 10 to 20 percent of the population, �with or with no lower back pain. Bertolotti syndrome happens when the last lumbar vertebra, known as the lumbosacral transitional vertebra/LSTV. This vertebra and the sacrum become fused together or create a false joint due to an enlarged transverse process.

This can be bony bumps on the vertebrae where muscles and ligaments attach to the lumbosacral transitional vertebra. When the LSTV and sacrum fuse together, known as sacralization or pseudo-joint, it does not generate pain. It�s just the way that an individual’s anatomy has been since birth. Only when it causes lower back pain that it is called Bertolotti syndrome.

 

 

Causes

Low back pain that leads to inflammation and reactive muscle spasms brought on from Bertolotti syndrome can be caused by:

  1. Asymmetrical structures of the lumbar vertebrae. If the LSTV is fused to the sacrum and iliac bone, these are the wings of the pelvis, which can place unwanted stress on the sacroiliac joint, which can cause pain that is felt above the buttocks.
  2. A�pseudo-joint does not have the cushion or lubrication between the bones like real joints to absorb shock. This causes bone-on-bone grinding, which can be quite painful and can lead to osteoarthritis. This can also generate added stress on the discs of the pseudo-joint.
  3. Sacralization fusion can decrease the spine�s mobility. This can speed up the wear and tear of the vertebrae and shock-absorbers of the intravertebral discs.
  4. Added non-equal force/s on the muscle tissues that surround the lower back. This can be caused by the spine not being properlyaligned causing muscle imbalance/s and fatigue. Both sides of the back can be affected, but when tightness and muscle spasms in the low back and pelvis present, it’s usually only on one side.

 

lumbosacral spine

 

Symptoms

Most individuals usually never know they have a sacralization or pseudo-joint. These are often found accidentally from an X-ray for something unrelated. But when symptoms present they can vary from person to person and usually appear in adulthood�in the 20s or 30s.

These include:

  • Low back pain that is localized and does not spread/radiate down the legs
  • Pain or discomfort in or around the sacroiliac joint
  • Stiffness that comes out of nowhere or difficulty moving a certain way with pain present
  • Symptoms improve once the individual sits or lays down

Diagnosis

Bertolotti syndrome can be diagnosed based on medical history, physical exam, and X-rays. A physical exam can include a recreation of the movement/s that triggered the pain/discomfort. An X-ray of the low back and pelvis will reveal any bony abnormalities.

 

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Bertolotti Syndrome Unusual Suspect in Lower Back Pain

Treatment

Bertolotti syndrome can be effectively managed with non-invasive treatments. These� include:

  • Improperly and overdoing repetitive rotation/s and extension/s through work or just movements that have become second nature are injuries just waiting to happen. Lifestyle changes and re-learning how to move properly will ease the strain on the affected area.
  • Over the counter pain medication/s like�Advil, Aleve, or Tylenol.
  • Chiropractic/Physical therapy can help build low back areas and increase mobility.
  • Local anesthetic and spaced out intervals of corticosteroid injections to the affected nerve/s to reduce inflammation.
  • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) uses the body�s platelets to reduce pain, inflammation, and healing the damaged joints through an injection.
  • Prolotherapy treatment uses concentrated local anesthetic and dextrose injected into the low back area to enhance the body�s natural healing.
  • Radiofrequency ablation uses heat to numb the affected nerves around a pseudo-joint so that pain reduces.
  • Surgery is the last resort and is usually done to eliminate a pseudo-joint. It can also consist of reducing or removing an elongated transverse process�and can be performed as a same-day or outpatient procedure.

If you or someone you know is dealing with some form of idiopathic low back pain and doctors can’t seem to pinpoint the cause. Bertolotti syndrome could be a suspect, therefore it’s best to seek a spine specialist near you that can help.


 

Treating Severe & Complex Sciatica

 


 

NCBI Resources

 

Chronic Back Vertebrogenic Pain and Vertebral Endplates

Chronic Back Vertebrogenic Pain and Vertebral Endplates

Research has found that vertebrogenic chronic low back pain could be caused by a lumbar vertebral endplate change that involves the basivertebral nerve and is not disc-related. The underlying cause of chronic low back pain can be very difficult to diagnose. The intervertebral discs are a common suspect, but when disc-related treatments don�t ease the pain, the root problem could be something else. Researchers are exploring an overlooked area with the vertebral endplates being the cause of vertebrogenic low back pain.

 

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Chronic Low Back Vertebrogenic Pain and Spinal Vertebral Endplates

 

Research has found that there are more nerves in the vertebral endplates than in the spinal discs. More nerves can mean higher potential/increase in pain. And like the other areas of the spine such as the discs and joints, vertebral endplates can also degenerate, also increasing the risk for pain.

 

Vertebral Endplates and Basivertebral Nerve

The vertebral endplates line the top and bottom of each vertebral body. These are the round, thick, weight-bearing bones in the spine. The vertebral endplates are made of cancellous or spongy bone and function as the barrier between each disc and the vertebrae.

The low back/lumbar spine takes the most weight. That can be a significant amount of pressure on the structures in the low back. The endplates are situated between a cushioned disc/s and the hard, bony vertebral body making them vulnerable to degeneration and nerve damage contributing to chronic low back pain. The endplates and vertebral bodies consist of a network of intraosseous nerves.

 

Intraosseous nerves live within the bone.

The basivertebral nerve� BVN is an intraosseous nerve that winds through the vertebral bodies. This nerve feeds into each spinal bone through the back of the vertebral body and then branches out with nerves going towards the top and bottom vertebral endplates. Research has shown that although these nerves are inside the bone they can send pain signals from a damaged vertebral endplate that could result in vertebrogenic low back pain. This is why it has been�recently linked it as a possible cause of chronic low back pain.

Nerve pain in the spine has been linked with discs that have degenerated. A doctor, chiropractor/spine specialist refers to this as discogenic pain. But with new research, an understanding of the function the vertebral endplates and BVN play in the sensation of pain has been realized and this is where the term vertebrogenic pain comes from. If a doctor discovers that the endplates could be the source of your chronic low back pain, they might use this term.

 

Vertebral Endplate Pain Diagnosis

Like most back pain conditions diagnosing vertebral endplate pain can be just as challenging. This is because diagnostic imaging scans typically don�t pick up mild to moderate endplate damage. A classification scale known as Modic changes helps doctors identify vertebrogenic pain.

Modic changes or MC are areas that show up on an MRI showing bone marrow damage that has been linked to low back pain. The name comes from the doctor that classified them in 1988, Dr. Michael Modic. Modic changes help doctors and spine specialists see and understand the connection between endplate damage and chronic low back pain.

2 types were identified that show a connection between vertebral endplate damage and chronic low back pain:

Type 1

This type shows a�development� in the vessels of the vertebral body, that includes:

  • Inflammation
  • Edema, which is a collection of excess fluid
  • Endplate changes like a split or crack/s in the endplate

Type 2

This type reveals changes in the bone marrow like fatty deposits that have taken the place of bone marrow.

If the lumbar MRI shows Type 1 or Type 2 MC, a doctor could recommend a conservative treatment plan that could include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Chiropractic
  • Medication
  • Massage
  • Acupuncture

These could be utilized in conjunction with spine specialist care in addressing symptoms and pain. However, if the pain does not ease or reduce with conservative treatment, a doctor could suggest an outpatient procedure.

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Osteoporosis and Increasing Bone Fractures El Paso, TX.

 

Treating Vertebral Endplate Pain

This treatment option is known as the Intracept� Intraosseous Nerve Ablation System which addresses BVN nerve pain and is a minimal procedure.

Candidates for this procedure usually qualify meeting the following:

  • The individual has struggled with chronic low back pain for at least 6 months
  • The pain has not reduced/eased up with at least 6 months of conservative care
  • MRI shows Type 1 or Type 2 Modic changes�that correlate symptoms of vertebrogenic low back pain

The procedure uses fluoroscopy or an x-ray video. A thin tube called a cannula is inserted into a vertebral pedicle. A pedicle is a structure that sticks out from the back of the vertebra. The cannula tunnels its way to the basivertebral nerve. The doctor then runs the Intracept Radiofrequency generator into the path of the nerve and ablates destroys/removes any obstructions in the nerve with the help of the frequency generator. Since it�s a minimally invasive procedure, it can be performed in an outpatient clinic, allowing the patient to go home the same day.

The device/tool used in the procedure is not implanted in the spine. It is removed once the procedure is done.

Expectations as to how long the pain relief will last depends on:

  • The severity of the condition
  • Post-physical therapy
  • Type of work
  • Diet
  • Exercise

One study showed the benefits to last up to two years.

If�nonsurgical treatment has not worked for at least six months talk to your doctor about basivertebral nerve ablation for vertebrogenic chronic low back pain. There are risks and benefits both of which should be discussed in depth.

Endplate or Disc and the Root Cause

The intervertebral discs are often the more common cause of low back pain. But they might not be the root cause of spine pain. More research is going on with the role the vertebral endplates play in spine health. As more patients are being diagnosed earlier then better long-term outcomes will follow.


 

What Chiropractors Do & Why They Do It

 


 

NCBI Resources

 

Is My Pregnancy Causing Back Pain or Something Else El Paso, TX?

Is My Pregnancy Causing Back Pain or Something Else El Paso, TX?

Q: I’m experiencing back pain more so now.�My question is, is this back pain from my baby is it normal or is it something else? I’m a 30-year-old woman in the second trimester with our first child. I would have back pain before I was pregnant but nothing serious, just normal work and a little soreness at the end of the day. There was never back soreness or pain that I thought warranted a visit to the doctor. My doctor says that it is normal from the weight of the baby and there is nothing amiss, but to discuss this with a chiropractor, as there could be some treatment/therapies/exercises to help.

El Paso, TX.

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 126 Is My Pregnancy Causing Back Pain or Something Else El Paso, TX?

 

A: Having low back pain before you were pregnant concerns me, as what you are saying sounds like a possible herniated disc bulging or slipped disc. However, I cannot give you an official diagnosis unless I see you as a patient and can’t say if it is something else.

But low back pain can be caused by a combination of things. This includes your pregnancy along with:

  • Herniated disc
  • Disc degeneration
  • Age
  • Muscle spasm/s
  • Daily wear and tear
  • Injuries
  • Unknown injuries
  • Added Weight

These are just a few of the things that could be causing your low back pain. Add pregnancy to this list and low back pain can become unbearable. Your pain can be made worse by a variety of factors.

For example, let’s say you were lifting a few pieces of light furniture before you became pregnant, and that slight soreness you felt and thought was nothing could actually be a strain, muscle spasm, or over-stretch that did not cause an injury but is the beginning of an injury waiting to happen.

During pregnancy, a growing belly can put place more pressure on the:

  • Intervertebral discs
  • Joints
  • Muscles
  • Ligaments

Hormones that are released during pregnancy can also exacerbate your back pain. The hormone relaxin causes the pelvis and the ligaments of the lower back to gain flexibility. This is in preparation for the delivery and can cause low back pain because of the added flexibility you are more prone to injury, which is why doctors say to take it easy. It could all be a combination of these factors but I would have to examine you, go over your medical history to get a proper diagnosis to create a personalized treatment plan during pregnancy and after if the need is there.

 

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Tips For Reducing Back Pain During Pregnancy El Paso, TX.

Treatment During Pregnancy

There are several treatment options for back pain. During pregnancy is not the time to experiment with medications or back pain treatments that could cause a negative response or something else to your health. The goal�during pregnancy is safety.

Here are four safe therapies for managing back pain while pregnant:

  1. Gentle exercise/s like walking and yoga helps alleviate back pain and can also generate an overall feeling of wellness.
  2. Physical therapy can decrease your back pain by strengthening the muscles. A physical therapist that has experience working with pregnant women is the best option.
  3. Prenatal massage relaxes tense back muscles and reduces stress. Look for a massage therapist that specializes in prenatal massage.
  4. Prenatal yoga classes are great for decompressing/destressing during pregnancy.

Discuss all of this with your doctor and all treatment options. It’s not a good idea to start a new exercise program when you’re pregnant. If there was a regular exercise routine before you were pregnant, you can continue, but you may have to make some adjustments as your body prepares for the delivery. Once the baby is born, you and your doctor can re-evaluate your treatment plan. But regardless of your treatment plan, you should still continue to maintain a proper healthy weight by eating right and exercising regularly to prevent back pain from worsening.


 

Low Back Pain Treatment While Pregnant


 

NCBI Resources

Chiropractic a preferred treatment for pregnancy low back pain. The chiropractor may perform a spinal subluxation to bring the spine back into alignment and the body back into proper balance. Regular chiropractic care and following the doctor�s instructions can help greatly decrease back pain so that she can better enjoy the excitement and joy of her pregnancy.

 

Reasons To Use Custom Foot Orthotics For Back Pain Relief

Reasons To Use Custom Foot Orthotics For Back Pain Relief

Are Your Shoes Causing Back Pain

Musculoskeletal health is one of the highest costs in healthcare today.

There are 1 in 2 Americans that have a musculoskeletal condition. And the need for support along with body alignment is at an all-time high.

In today’s world surveys found that Americans wear two to three pairs of shoes during the week.

However, these shoes are not made to support:

  • The body
  • Fit the feet
  • And can be dangerous to general musculoskeletal health

Health and freedom from pain are important factors in a healthy quality of life. But it starts with proper support for the body that begins from the ground up.

 

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 126 Reasons To Use Custom Foot Orthotics For Back Pain Relief

 

Many believe that to get proper support all you need is to buy top shoes that are optimized with athletic properties. While athletic shoes are definitely more comfortable they do not provide adequate support for the body and can affect posture and the body’s alignment.

The shoes out on the market today, whether athletic or dress are more about fashion than function. These shoes are designed based on sample sizes. Shoe companies use for men a size ten and for women a size eight for their sample. Then material isadded or subtracted to create the larger or smaller sizes.

The resultant shoes are designed to fit and provide optimum performance but are not customized to conform to each individual’s unique feet.�

  • Shoes are designed to protect feet from the elements and adapt to various activities.
  • They are not designed to handle the additional forces necessary to support the body.

Take a look at the extensive wear patterns on your shoes and see if there are imbalances in the feet. If there are areas that are really worn/flattened out then there can be severe pronation taking place. This is one serious reason to look into foot orthotics,

  • Not to worry, as excessive foot pronation affects everyone.
  • While at school, work or conducting daily chores is when individuals pronate and while wearing shoes with no arch/spine support.
  • Pronation in the feet combined with shoes that don’t fit with no support has a negative impact on posture and alignment.

With no sufficient support, the body reverts to the imbalanced state. With continued use and not addressed will cause pain in the:

  • Knees
  • Hips
  • Back
  • Neck

And unfortunately, most of us ignore and even power through the pain caused by the poor fit and lack of support from these shoes.

 

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 126 Reasons To Use Custom Foot Orthotics For Back Pain Relief

Reasons to Use Custom Orthotics

  1. The feet make up the body�s foundation. Just like a house, problems with the foundation will create problems throughout the structure over time. Therefore if the foundation is remedied properly then the other issues remedy themselves or are easier to treat because the feet are already taken care of.
  2. Feet problems/issues create back problems. Fixing foot problems will make a difference with the back pain treatment plan.
  3. Individuals think their feet are just fine. However, they don’t know what problems are in the background waiting for the worst moment to present. Imbalance/dysfunction is a silent issue that can ripple into many problems along with pain in the spine.
  4. Feet are as unique as fingerprints. Custom orthotics will make a vast difference between the right and left foot and accommodate the body to achieve its full potential.
  5. Custom orthotics are built just for you. Based on a high-resolution 3D scan of your feet, that is sent to a Foot Levelers� team of technicians, who create your 100% unique, tailored foot orthotic/s.

 

 

Don�t be fooled by over-the-counter knock offs. These are mass-produced insoles that can worsen pain. And while most cases of back pain respond well with Chiropractic care, adding custom foot orthotics will enhance the effectiveness of the treatment with no need for surgery or side effects from medications.

Other Reasons

Custom orthotics also helps with:

Your feet and your body will thank you and will improve health by maintaining proper posture, combined with full-body support to achieve optimal quality of life.


 

How to eliminate Back Pain naturally | (2020) Foot Levelers |El Paso, Tx

 


 

NCBI Resources

When there are problems with the feet, it can cause problems through the legs and all the way to the spine. This can cause the ankle to pronate, meaning it rolls inward. This alters the way the�bones of the foot�line up which extends through the tibia, or shin bone.

This can cause a condition called knock knees and it can change the way the entire body is aligned. This puts the body out of balance, destabilizing the spine, and can even cause the pelvis to tilt to one side or the other. When you are walking or standing, the stress caused by the misalignment can create a domino effect, causing or contributing to low back pain.

 

Why Do I Need an X-ray or MRI for Lower Back Pain El Paso, TX?

Why Do I Need an X-ray or MRI for Lower Back Pain El Paso, TX?

Low back pain is one of the most common ailments for people visiting a doctor or an urgent care clinic. When the back pain becomes intense it can get you thinking something is seriously wrong with your back. The doctor might offer an x-ray or MRI scan to put your concerns at ease.

Fortunately, most cases for low back pain even acute pain improve within days or a few weeks. Most cases are remedied with chiropractic, physical therapy, heat/ice therapy and rest. And a lot of these cases do not require any form of spinal imaging. However, there are those reasons when X-ray, MRI, CT scans are necessary to figure out what’s going on.

  • Strained muscle
  • Sprained ligament
  • Poor posture

These are typical causes of low back pain that can be painful and limit activities.

 

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Why Do I Need an X-ray or MRI for Lower Back Pain El Paso, TX?

 

Back Pain Lasting Longer Than 2/3 Weeks

Subacute pain lasts between 4 and 12 weeks while chronic back pain lasts 3 months or longer. These are not indications of a serious low spinal condition.

Less than 1% of people with low back pain are diagnosed with a condition that may require spine surgery like:

 

X-rays or MRI’s for Diagnosing Low Back Pain

Doctors may recommend an x-ray or MRI if the low back pain was from a traumatic injury, like a:

  • Slip
  • Fall
  • Automobile accident

Other potential causes of low back pain may warrant medical imaging immediately or later on.

The diagnostic process starts with the evaluation of the low back symptoms and how they relate to what was found during the:

  • Physical exam
  • Neurological exam
  • Medical history

A doctor utilizes these results to figure out whether the need for spinal imaging is necessary, along with the type of imaging test,� x-ray or MRI and the timing to confirm a diagnosis.

A Low Back X-Ray/MRI

X-ray spinal imaging is best at detecting bony structural problems but not so great with soft tissue injuries. There are X-ray series that may be performed to diagnose vertebral compression fractures like.

  • Anterior
  • Posterior
  • Lateral views

MRI is a radiation-free test. MRI’s create 3-D anatomical views of the spinal bones and soft tissues. A contrast dye like gadolinium is used to enhance and improve the quality of the images. The contrast is injected through an intravenous line in your hand or arm before or during the test. An MRI can evaluate neurological symptoms, like radiating pain or pain that develops after being diagnosed with cancer.

Symptoms, Co-existing Medical Diagnoses, and Conditions that may Require Spine Imaging

Neurological symptoms

  • Low back pain that radiates, fans out or downward into the buttocks, legs, and feet
  • Abnormal reflexes in the lower body can indicate nerve disruption
  • Numbness, tingling, and possibly weakness develop
  • Inability to lift your foot aka foot drop

Co-existing medical diagnoses and conditions

  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Fever
  • Osteoporosis
  • Previous spinal fracture
  • Spine surgery
  • Recent infection
  • Immunosuppressant medication use
  • Corticosteroid medication
  • Weight loss

 

X-ray Radiation Exposure

When undergoing an x-ray, the radiation not absorbed by the body creates the image. The radiation dose is the same amount every time you undergo an x-ray. Radiation to your entire body is measured through the millisievert (mSv) also known as the effective dose.

The effective dose helps a doctor measure the risk for possible side effects of radiographic imaging:

  • CT scans use radiation as well
  • Certain body tissues and organs in the lower back are sensitive to radiation exposure like the reproductive organs.

 

MRI Radiation-Free Why Not Just Use This Test All The Time

MRI’s cannot be used on all patients because of its powerful magnet technology. Pregnant women or individuals that have metal inside their body like a spinal cord stimulator, heart pacemaker, etc cannot be scanned with an MRI.

MRI testing is also expensive, doctors do not want to prescribe unnecessary tests that increase costs. Or because of the fine detail that MRI’s provide, sometimes a spinal issue can look serious but is not.

Example: An MRI of the lower back reveals a herniated disc in a patient that has no back/leg pain or other symptoms.

This is why doctors bring all of their findings like the symptoms, physical exam, and medical history to confirm a diagnosis and then create the custom treatment plan.

Imaging Test Takeaways

If low back pain begins to take its toll, listen to what the doctor recommends. They might not order a lumbar x-ray or MRI immediately but remember the aforementioned issues like neurological symptoms and co-existing medical conditions. But these tests do help in discovering the cause or causes of the pain. Remember this is to help get patients to their optimal health and pain-free.


 

How to eliminate Back Pain naturally | (2020) Foot Levelers |El Paso, Tx

 


 

NCBI Resources

Imaging diagnostics is an essential element in the evaluation of spine trauma. The rapid evolution of imaging technology has tremendously changed the assessment and treatment of spine injuries. Imaging diagnostics utilizing CT and MRI, among others, are helpful in acute and chronic settings. Spinal cord and soft-tissue injuries are best evaluated by magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, whereas computed tomography scanning or CT scans, best evaluate spinal trauma or spine fracture.