Spine


Transcutaneous Electrical Stimulation (TENS) for Cervical Spine Pain

A Patient’s Guide to Transcutaneous Electrical Stimulation (TENS) for Cervical Spine Pain Introduction Neck (cervical spine) pain due to musculoskeletal disorders, is the second largest cause of time off work – low back pain being first. It is generally worse in the morning and evening. The most commonly prescribed intervention […]


Transcutaneous Electrical Stimulation (TENS) for Chronic Lumbar Spine Pain

A Patient’s Guide to Transcutaneous Electrical Stimulation (TENS) for Chronic Lumbar Spine Pain Introduction Low back pain due to musculoskeletal disorders, is the largest cause of time off work. The most commonly prescribed intervention is rest, pain medications, and a referral to physical therapy. Physicians and physical therapists commonly recommend […]


Adult Degenerative Scoliosis

A Patient’s Guide to Adult Degenerative Scoliosis Introduction A normal healthy spine will be straight when seen from the front or the back. When seen from the side, the normal spine forms a gentle “S” curve, which is known as adult degenerative scoliosis. Scoliosis is an abnormal or exaggerated curve […]


Treatment Guidelines for Low Back Pain

A Patient’s Guide to Treatment Guidelines for Low Back Pain Introduction In the United States low back pain is ranked number five among the most common reasons for physician office visits. Of the patients who get medical care, they usually improve rapidly in the first month. However, up to one-third […]


Sacral Insufficiency Fractures

A Patient’s Guide to Sacral Insufficiency Fractures Introduction The sacrum is a wedge shaped bone that makes up part of the pelvis. It transmits the weight of the body to the pelvic girdle. As the name suggests, sacral insufficiency fractures occur when the quality of the sacral bone has become […]


Cervical Burners and Stingers (Brachial Plexus Injuries)

A Patient’s Guide to Burners and Stingers (Brachial Plexus Injuries) Introduction Injury to the nerves of the neck and shoulder that cause a burning or stinging feeling are called burners or stingers. Another name for this type of nerve injury is brachial plexus injury. Football players are affected most often. […]


Dropped Head Syndrome

A Patient’s Guide to Dropped Head Syndrome Introduction Dropped Head Syndrome is characterized by severe weakness of the muscles of the back of the neck. This causes the chin to rest on the chest in standing or sitting. Floppy Head Syndrome and Head Ptosis are other names used to describe […]


Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis

A Patient’s Guide to Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis Introduction Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis (DISH) is a phenomenon that more commonly affects older males. It is associated with stiffness and back pain, but often it causes no signs or symptoms. The most common finding of Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis (DISH) is […]


Spinal Tumors

A Patient’s Guide to Spinal Tumors Introduction A tumor is an abnormal growth of tissue. There are several types of tumors that can develop in or near the spine. There are many types of spinal tumors. They can involve the spinal cord, nerve roots, and/or the vertebrae (bones of the […]


Nutrition and Your Spine

A Patient’s Guide to Nutrition and Your Spine Introduction You are what you eat. Is that simply a funny saying or is there some truth to that old adage? The spine is not something that usually comes to mind when one thinks about nutrition – but it should. Nutrition is […]


Intraoperative Monitoring

A Patient’s Guide to Intraoperative Monitoring Introduction Spine surgery can be unpredictable and potentially dangerous because it can involve areas near nerves and the spinal cord. During spinal surgery, there is a risk that damage to the nervous system can occur. This is especially true when hardware or instrumentation is […]


Whiplash

A Patient’s Guide to Whiplash Introduction Whiplash is defined as a sudden extension of the cervical spine (backward movement of the neck) and flexion (forward movement of the neck). This type of trauma is also referred to as a cervical acceleration-deceleration (CAD) injury. Rear-end or side-impact motor vehicle collisions are […]


Cervical Artificial Disc Replacement

A Patient’s Guide to Cervical Artificial Disc Replacement Introduction Artificial disc replacement (ADR) is relatively new. In June 2004, the first ADR for the lumbar spine (low back) was approved by the FDA for use in the US. Replacing a damaged disc in the cervical spine (neck) is a bit […]


Lumbar Artificial Disc Replacement

A Patient’s Guide to Lumbar Artificial Disc Replacement Introduction Artificial disc replacement (ADR) is a device or implant used to replace a diseased or damaged intervertebral disc. After removing what’s left of the worn out disc, the ADR is inserted in the space between two lumbar vertebrae. The goal is […]


Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion

Patient’s Guide to Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion Introduction Posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) is a procedure used to treat problems such as disc degeneration, disc herniation, and spine instability. In this procedure, the surgeon works on the spine from the back (the posterior) and removes a spinal disc in the […]


Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

A Patient’s Guide to Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction Introduction A painful sacroiliac joint is one of the more common causes of mechanical low back pain. Sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction is a term that is used to describe the condition – because it is still unclear why this joint becomes painful and […]


Piriformis Syndrome

A Patient’s Guide to Piriformis Syndrome Introduction Pain in the buttock that radiates down the leg is commonly called sciatica. The most common cause for sciatica is irritation of the spinal nerves in or near the lumbar spine. Sometimes the nerve irritation is not in the spine but further down […]


Back Care Boot Camp

No treatment program for low back pain is complete without a great deal of attention to the prevention of further back problems. It is a common belief that most episodes of low back pain simply get better in 6 or 8 weeks no matter what type of treatment a patient […]


Spondyloarthropathies

A Patient’s Guide to Spondyloarthropathies Introduction There are many different types of rheumatological diseases that affect the spine. A rheumatological disease is a problem that affects the entire body as a whole – such as the relatively well known rheumatoid arthritis. When a rheumatological disease affects the spine, the resulting […]


Low Back Pain

A Patient’s Guide to Low Back Pain Introduction Low back pain is one of the main reasons Americans visit their doctor. For adults over 40, it ranks third as a cause for doctor visits, after heart disease and arthritis. Eighty percent of people will have low back pain at some […]