Lumbar Spine


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


Lumbar Disc Herniation

A Patient’s Guide to Lumbar Disc Herniation Introduction Although people often refer to a disc herniation as a slipped disc, the disc doesn’t actually slip out of place. Rather, the term herniation means that the material at the center of the disc has squeezed out of its normal space. This […]


Anterior Lumbar Fusion with Cages

A Patient’s Guide to Anterior Lumbar Fusion with Cages Introduction Anterior lumbar fusion is an operation done on the front (the anterior region) of the lower spine. Fusion surgery helps two or more bones grow together into one solid bone. Fusion cages are new devices, essentially hollow screws filled with […]


Lumbar Facet Joint Arthritis

A Patient’s Guide to Lumbar Facet Joint Arthritis Introduction Arthritis of the lumbar facet joints can be a source of significant low back pain. Aligned on the back of the spinal column, the facet joints link each vertebra together. Articular cartilage covers the surfaces where these joints meet. Like other […]


Lumbar Discectomy

A Patient’s Guide to Lumbar Discectomy Introduction Lumbar discectomy is a surgical procedure to remove part of a problem disc in the low back. The discs are the pads that separate the vertebrae. This procedure is commonly used when a herniated, or ruptured, disc in the low back is putting […]


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 […]


Lumbar Laminectomy

A Patient’s Guide to Lumbar Laminectomy Introduction Lumbar laminectomy is a surgical procedure to relieve pressure on the spinal nerves. Degeneration, or wear and tear, in the parts of the spine may narrow the spinal canal. This puts pressure on the nerves in the canal. This condition is called spinal […]


Lumbar Spondylolysis

A Patient’s Guide to Lumbar Spondylolysis Introduction Spondylolysis happens when a crack forms in the bony ring on the back of the spinal column. Most commonly, this occurs in the low back. In this condition, the bone that protects the spinal cord fractures as a result of excessive or repeated […]


Lumbar Spondylolisthesis

A Patient’s Guide to Lumbar Spondylolisthesis Introduction Normally, the bones of the spine (the vertebrae) stand neatly stacked on top of one another. Ligaments and joints support the spine. Spondylolisthesis alters the alignment of the spine. In this condition, one of the spine bones slips forward over the one below […]


Posterior Lumbar Fusion

A Patient’s Guide to Posterior Lumbar Fusion Introduction A posterior lumbar fusion is the most common type of fusion surgery for the low back. A fusion is a surgical procedure that joins two or more bones (in this case vertebrae) together into one solid bone. The procedure is called a […]


Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

A Patient’s Guide to Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Introduction According to the North American Spine Society (NASS), spinal stenosis describes a clinical syndrome of buttock or leg pain. These symptoms may occur with or without back pain. It is a condition in which the nerves in the spinal canal are closed […]


Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion

A Patient’s Guide to Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion Introduction Anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) is a procedure used to treat problems such as disc degeneration, spine instability, and deformities in the curve of the spine. In this procedure, the surgeon works on the spine from the front (anterior) and removes […]


Lumbar Spine Anatomy

A Patient’s Guide to Lumbar Spine Anatomy Introduction Knowing the main parts of your low back and how these parts work is important as you learn to care for your back problem. Two common anatomic terms are useful as they relate to the low back. The term anterior refers to […]