Now that the weather is getting cooler, it might not seem like an ideal time to get into a regular physical activity routine to ease your back pain. However, it’s never too late to start a workout. Just keep in mind that some exercises are not good to do when you have back pain. Keep the following information in mind when you begin exercising this fall.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common cause of hand pain, numbness and weakness. It is caused by a ligament in our wrist pressing on the median nerve which supplies sensation and strength to parts of the hand. In most cases, a specific cause is not known. However overuse (such as typing on a computer), thyroid disease, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and pregnancy are common factors that can cause the ligament to thicken, press on the nerve and cause symptoms.
At Rocky Mountain Brain & Spine Institute, we have previously blogged about Spinal Cord Stimulation. This is a chronic pain treatment strategy since the 1960’s, and with advancements in technique is a reasonable option for certain patients. In its current use, spinal cord stimulation in the lower thoracic region treats only pain symptoms, and not weakness or numbness.
Lumbar fusion involves "fusing" two bones together. The surgery usually requires removing nearly all of the disc, removing one or both facet joints in the back, and placing rods and screws to hold the lumbar bones together. Bone and other materials are packed in the prior disc space and around the rods and screws such that the bones grow together and no longer move. The indication of fusion surgery most often is mobile spondylolisthesis, in which one bone moves abnormally over another.
It is clear that minimally invasive spine surgery using tubular retractors is beneficial compared to traditional spine surgery. In both decompressions (discectomy) and lumbar fusion, there appears to be less pain, less muscle injury, a lower rate of adjacent segment disease, lower complications and quicker recovery with tubular minimally invasive approaches.
Mark Twain has been attributed the quote, “When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.”
About 800,000 Americans experience a stroke each year, and about 90 percent of those are ischemic strokes. Ischemic stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain stops. This usually results from a "clot" blocking blood flow in a blood vessel. As your brain requires about 20 percent of the blood flow from the heart to function, an acute stoppage of blood flow causes the brain cells to quickly die. It only takes about two to five minutes for this process to occur. Your brain is a somewhat unique organ in that once a brain cell dies, it cannot regenerate. This is completely different than other body parts like your skin, which can quickly and easily regenerate itself once injured. Therefore the deleterious effects of stroke are permanent.
The size of one's brain, or certain brain areas, has been extensively studied and implicated in many things including intelligence. This is a highly controversial topic, and research results must be carefully interpreted to avoid conclusions of causation when it may just be a correlation.
Memorial Day is a federal holiday that is observed on the last Monday of May. For many Americans, it is a day for barbecues, picnics and neighborhood parades. However, what often gets overlooked is the real reason for the holiday, which is to remember and honor the men and women who sacrificed their lives while serving in the U. S. military to defend and protect America’s right to freedom. Memorial Day was formerly known as Decoration Day, which meant a time to visit and decorate the graves of veterans who served and perished.