Spinal Stenosis, Facet Syndrome and Herniated Disks

FACET SYNDROME

Similar to pinched nerves symptoms, this is believed to be associated with pain in the backs side joints and the main cause of up to 20 percent of back pain cases, with buttocks and upper leg pain increasing with long-term standing, and when switching sitting / standing / lying positions. An injection of local anesthetic into the facet joint helps determine the diagnosis. However, since the anesthetic relieves the pain at the same time and is used as a short-term solution, an x-ray doesnt help with imaging the pain results. Recommended treatment includes rigorous lumbar activities and body mechanics exercises to learn proper or more beneficial posture and movement techniques.

Herniated Disk

Also known as a ruptured or protruding disk, a herniated disk extends beyond its own area into a surrounding region. Compression of the nerve root can cause pain. And pressure on the fibers in surrounding ligaments can cause pain. Although an accident involving lifting could be the cause of a herniated disk, its not necessarily so. For many, the cause is unknown; pain can occur suddenly or gradually over time.

Relief from pain can come from walking instead of sitting or standing, and surgery is rarely required right away, if at all in the event relief from pain happens within a limited amount of time. During this time (up to several weeks) any of the following might be effective to use, depending upon your healthcare provider: medication, physical therapy or non-frequently, steroid spinal injections.

SPONDYLOLISTHESIS

or the forward displacement or slippage of one of the lower lumbar vertebrae (generally the fourth or fifth) over the vertebra below it or on the sacrum. This state of health is diagnosed by x-ray. Pain is believed to occur where the displacement is, at or below the displacement, or from spinal stenosis, discussed next. Depending upon the patient, strengthening exercises or a back support may be all thats required. In others, surgery may be an option.

Spinal Stenosis

The constriction or narrowing of the vertebral canal. Mainly due to aging, as the gradual lessening of disk space and changes in ligaments advance upon the nerve roots below the lumbar vertebra or L2, pain can result. Its often accompanied by numbness in the legs and is not aided any by walking. Different vertebra and varied physical activities can affect the pains location, intensity, recurring and duration. To help diagnose this condition, healthcare providers can use myelography, or an x-ray of the spinal cord after injection of air or a radiopaque substance into the subarachnoid space, with a post-CAT scan. And depending upon the patient, treatments can vary and be minor with medication if the pain gradually disappears, to epidural corticosteroid injections in the epidural, to blocks or surgery.

SPONDYLOARTHROPATHY

This term refers to a variety of diseases affecting spinal joints; arthritis variations- psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis, the more common of the two and in males more often than women; and sacroiliitis, accompanies inflammatory bowels. Diagnosis consists of a physical exam, history and testing including x-rays, CAT or MRI, as the disease progresses slowly long-term fusing sacroiliac joints together and joints between vertebrae together. To relieve pain, there is treatment with exercises and physical therapy to promote better enhanced posture and mobility and some arthritic medications.

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