How Backpacks Affect the Adolescent Spine

Back pain that affects the adolescent spine is considered to be a precursor to adult chronic low back pain.  Over 90% of children in the United States carry backpacks, therefore, it is imperative, that they are instructed on proper backpack use, as carrying backpacks incorrectly at a young age could lead to long term back pain issues. More than 60% of adolescents ages six to nineteen, reported back pain associated with backpack use according to a clinical study printed in The Spine Journal Volume 16 (2016)1.  This particular study found the amount of time students spent carrying backpacks and the

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Why “Useless’’ Spine Fusion Surgery is Still Popular

A New York Times article stated, “Spine fusion surgery is no better than alternative non-surgical treatments.” Unlike most operations, spinal fusion was tested in four clinical trials. The conclusion was that “surgery was no better than alternative non-surgical treatments, like supervised exercise and therapy to help patients deal with their fear of back pain”. The studies were completed by the early 2000s and should have been enough to greatly limit or stop spinal fusions, according to Dr. Richard Deyo, professor of evidence-based medicine at the Oregon Health and Sciences University. But that has not happened, according to a recent report printed

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Discography May Accelerate Disc Degeneration

It’s no secret that low back pain is a leading cause of “unwanted” lost workdays. Low back pain is not a disease, but instead may be caused by several problems, the most common being degenerative discs.1  Degenerative discs may also lead to facet joint arthritis pain and “sciatica” nerve pain. To help pinpoint pain sources, discography was historically offered because MRIs couldn’t reliably identify pain. Discography was used to plan spine surgery, however, today spine fusions themselves are being questioned because of long-term fusion concerns. Discography was introduced in the 1940s. During discography, x-ray contrast is injected into the center

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Spine Fusions Stopped in North Carolina

Spine Surgeons voiced fear nationwide that one of their highest paid spine procedures, spine fusions, attempting to treat degenerative disc pain, won’t be paid for by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina. Because spine surgery lobbyists have no evidence to justify fusions, they are now being denied. Poor outcomes are causing fusions to fall under scrutiny worldwide. (Reference) Many scientific articles, including the New England Journal of Medicine, and a European Spine treatment Guideline referenced an article stating: “The tide of scientific evidence seems to go against the spinal fusions in degenerative disc disease. After decades of advances in this field, the

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The Domino Effect – Facts Reported After Spinal Fusions

The Domino Effect – Facts Reported After Spinal Fusion Whether you believe in a creator or evolution, your spine’s design is perfect for moving and bending. Unfortunately, spinal fusions unnaturally connect spaces meant to move freely using metal rods, screws, or cages. Because fusions permanently immobilize spines, they eventually damage discs above and below fusions by overloading them with mechanical forces1. Thus, fusions accelerate degeneration of adjacent discs, causing the damaging domino effect 2. Research demonstrates the domino effect is caused by cervical and lumbar spinal fusions and may cause patients to need additional spine surgery3,4,5, and unfortunately, repeat surgery increases

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Yoga and What the Spine Experts Say

Spine experts Kevin Pauza, MD and Richard Deyo, MD recently weighed in on an often asked question, “Is yoga good for my back pain?”.  In a recent Consumer Reports article, Richard Deyo, MD, Professor of Evidence-Based Family Medicine at Oregon Health and Science University, and author of the guidelines released by the American College of Physicians (ACP), recommended non-drug remedies, including yoga first, for patients struggling with back pain. Kevin Pauza, MD, Founding Partner of Texas Spine and Joint Hospital and Manhattan Spine and Joint Institute, said he directs his patients towards facts when answering this question. “What does the scientific research

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Avoid Bending and Twisting

Did you know that every day activities involving bending forward and twisting may cause back pain? Bending forward (flexion) and twisting (rotation) are shear and compressive forces on the disc that lead to torn, herniated discs causing low back and leg pain. These movements done repetitively cause wear and tear on the discs, which lead towards tears and herniations. Once the disc tears, its inner jelly-like substance called the nucleus pulposus, leaks through those tears, causing chemical inflammation of the spinal nerves leading to back and leg pain (Sciatica) In order to have proper body mechanics one must avoid bending

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Should You Be Concerned About Your Neck Symptoms?

Many patients that suffer from cervical disc pain, the portion of the spine located in the neck, may be experiencing symptoms that seem unrelated to neck pain, however, these symptoms may be a direct result of cervical disc herniation. Pain and symptoms from cervical disc herniations and tears can develop slowly over time and suddenly appear. The type of symptoms can vary from a dull, nagging pain, to pain that is quite debilitating. Patients will often say “I have a crick in my neck”. This can be mild and only a little uncomfortable and stiff, or may grow to be

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Fusion Surgery Often Worsens Spines

Efforts to stop spine fusions where not indicated in states and countries are succeeding, and for good reason. A Washing Post article reviewed 125,000 fusion patient records while reporting on the recent 600% rise of spinal fusions. Experts and professional societies noted that over half of these patients should not have been treated with spinal fusions. What motivates those fusions? Surgeons who routinely fuse patients take home over one million dollars a year. They can make seven times more money performing fusions than simple laminectomies, a simple surgery that opens up a tight spine canal without using metal hardware. After recently treating

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Spinal Fusions Worsen Opioid Epidemic

Because it’s known that spinal fusions cause irreversible damage to good discs adjacent to fusions1,2, it makes sense that spinal fusions are big contributors to the opioid epidemic. The relationship between taking opioids and spine surgery is becoming more important as fusion volumes continue rising and opioid use continues to rise.3  A respected orthopedic journal, (The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery), reported that 84% of patients who undergo even simple spine surgery, take opioids for the first time in their lives after having spine surgery.  In that study 9,990 spine surgery patients were followed. An important finding was that none of these spine patients taking opioids after spine surgery took opioids before

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Avoid Bending and Twisting

Did you know that every day activities involving bending forward and twisting may cause back pain? Bending forward (flexion) and twisting (rotation) are shear and

Read More »

Spinal Fusions Worsen Opioid Epidemic

Because it’s known that spinal fusions cause irreversible damage to good discs adjacent to fusions1,2, it makes sense that spinal fusions are big contributors to the opioid epidemic. The relationship between taking opioids and spine

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