A 55 year old Male presented to our clinic suffering with Back Pain and Sciatica. His pains started a year before he came into our clinic and were getting worse. When he started treatment with us his pain was at a 7 on a scale of one to ten (10 being the worst). His pain started in his back and traveled down his leg.
Upon entering our clinic we scheduled an MRI. The MRI revealed that the patient's Back Pain and Sciatica were caused by the following:
- Herniated Disc
- Degenerated Disc
- Bulging Disc
- Radiculopathy (pinched nerve)
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Your thoracic vertebrae comprise the middle segment of the spine, where thoracic herniated discs may occur. These 12 vertebrae are located between the cervical (neck) area and the lumbar (lower back area). These upper back vertebrae run from the spot where the neck meets the back above the shoulder blade level and continue down to the bottom of the rib cage. The spinal bones are smaller in size at the top and grow larger down toward the lumbar area. These vertebrae have facets on the sides to interact with the ribs. A thoracic herniated disc may be caused by injury like a fall, strain or twist, or due to a cracked vertebra, a disc or discs weakened by aging, scar tissue or other causes.
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Back problems are one of the most common medical conditions Americans face in their day to day lives. It keeps them from going to work, it prevents engagement in life-saving physical activity, and it causes an uptick in surgeries and medications that only cover up the problem. But is surgery for back pain really necessary? We tend to believe that the cost of herniated disc surgery has been inflated for the benefit of surgeons, hospitals, and the pharmaceutical industry rather than for those suffering with back pain.
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Learning how to prevent a herniated disc is important as you age, especially if you are involved in activities like weight lifting or you must lift heavy objects as part of your job. Being health conscious and taking precautionary steps to prevent injury will help you reduce your risk of a back sprain, strain or slipped disc.
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An epidural is used to treat inflammation of a herniated disc by an injection of the steroid cortisone into the spine. Although your body creates cortisone naturally, the chemical in the injection is synthetically produced and its effects last for a number of days rather than minutes. Another difference is that while natural cortisone arrives through the bloodstream, the synthetic chemical enters directly to the inflamed area.
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Risks of Back Surgery
Nothing good ever comes with back pain. It affects every part of life and leaves you depressed. Trying to self-medicate to cure a hurt back can exacerbate the problem as you mask the pain then cause further injury. Only a doctor can pinpoint the cause of your back pain because of the number of possible causes and similar symptoms.
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The amount of suffering that you can experience from a herniated disc can range from slight discomfort to unbearable pain. Regardless of where you fall on the scale, the idea of surgery can often seem a bit intimidating. While in some cases, back surgery can be done using minimally invasive techniques, there is always a chance of something going terribly wrong. There is also a possibility that the surgery can wind up being ineffective. Fortunately, if you are either too afraid or not financially able to go through with such procedures, there are several natural alternatives that you can try instead.
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